Trisha Brown 2011 Recipient

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Trish Brown is a celebrated choreographer and the Founder of Trisha Brown Company. Over the course of her career, she has changed modern dance forever, pushing the limits of choreography by finding the extraordinary in the everyday. Prior to founding her own company, she co-founded the experimental Judson Dance Theater with Yvonne Rainer. In her early years, Brown created dance for alternative spaces from rooftops to parks in acclaimed experimental pieces, including Roof Piece (1971) and Man on the Side of a Building (1970).

In the 1980’s, Brown collaborated with with Robert Rauschenberg and Laurie Anderson incorporating design and music into her works. She created post-modern pieces including Glacial Decoy (1979), performed against a backdrop of Rauschenberg’s photographs and the ionic piece, Set and Reset (1982) with costumes and film clips by Rauschenberg and a score by Anderson. These works embody the unique style that remains a hallmark of her work.

Later, turning her attention to classical music, she choreographed a piece to J.S. Bach’s “Musical Offering”, “M.O.” (1995) which the New York Times called a “masterpiece”. Brown was invited to choreograph the opera, Carmen (1986) and her productions of Orfeo (1998), Luci Mie Traditrici (2001) and others have been critically praised. Constantly exploring new directions, Brown then went onto to collaborate with Laurie Anderson and Jennifer Tipton on a work for the Paris Opera Ballet and to explore new technology in collaboration with artist and robotics designer Kenjiro Okazaki. She is also an accomplished visual artist and her work has been exhibited across the globe at initiations from the New Museum to the Centre Georges Pompidou.

She has served on the National Council on the Arts at the invitation of President Bill Clinton and received the National Medal of Arts. She is a recipient of numerous awards, including a MacArthur “Genius” grant, five National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, two John Simon Guggenheim Fellowships, the Scripps American Dance Festival Award, The Robert Rauschenberg Award and many others.

Selection Committee

Jane Alexander, Chair – Stage, film and television actress Jane Alexander made her Broadway debut in The Great White Hope and has since won, or been nominated for, nearly every major award in her field. Her Broadway credits include The Sisters Rosensweig (1993) and Honour (1998), while her films include All the President’s Men (1976), Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) and Testament (1985), among others. From 1993-1997 she served as Chairman for the National Endowment for the Arts, appointed by President Bill Clinton, and today she continues to serve on the boards of arts, environment and wildlife conservation organizations.

Elizabeth Diller – Elizabeth Diller is a Founding Principle at Diller Scofidio + Renfro, an interdisciplinary studio that integrates architecture, visual arts, and performing arts. DS+R’s renowned body of work includes: Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the High Line, and The Broad museum. Their portfolio of installation projects includes: “Musings on a Glass Box” for the Foundation Cartier in Paris; the “Charles James: Beyond Fashion” exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; and the “How Wine Became Modern” for SFMoMA. In 2003, the Whitney Museum of American Art held a retrospective of the studio’s work, recognizing DS+R’s unorthodox practice.

Diller was named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” and is

the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “Genius” grant, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Design Award, the American Academy of the Arts and Letters’ Brunner Prize, and the National Academy of Design’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Vishakha Desai – Dr. Vishakha Desai is an Adjunct Professor at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and a Senior Advisor for Global Programs at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. Previously, Dr. Desai was the President and CEO of the Asia Society, held leadership roles at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and was a presidential appointee to the National Museum and Library Board. She has taught at Columbia University, Boston University, and the University of Massachusetts and has authored pieces in more than fifty publications around the world.

Dr. Desai was named one of the “100 most powerful women Leaders” in New York by Crain’s New York and one of the “50 most distinguished Indian Americans” by India Abroad. She has served on the boards including the Bertelsman Foundation, the Smithsonian’s Asian Pacific American Center, the Brookings Institution (Trustee), and the Association of Art Museum Directors (President). Dr. Desai’s awards include, Asian Americans for Equality, Art Table, and the National Institute of Social Sciences.

Garth Fagan – Garth Fagan is the founder and artistic director of Garth Fagan Dance, an internationally acclaimed company that is constantly evolving as it builds a distinct and diverse dance vocabulary. Fagan began his career touring in Latin America with Ivy Baxter and her Jamaican dance company and then studied with legends like Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey in New York. Prior to forming his own company, he was the the Director of Detroit’s All-City Dance Company, and a principal soloists and choreographer for Detroit Contemporary Dance Company and Dance Theatre of Detroit.

Fagan has received a Tony Award for Best Choreography, Drama Desk Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Astaire Award, the Laurence Olivier Award, the Ovation Award, and the Helpmann Award.

Iyer Vijay – Vijay Iyer, a Grammy-nominated composer-pianist, described by Pitchfork as “one of the most interesting and vital young pianists in jazz today”. Albums featuring Vijay and the Vijay Iyer Trio including, Break Stuff (2015), Mutations (2014), Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi (2014), and Accelerando (2012), Historicity (2009) received critical acclaim. Vijay has taught at Manhattan School of Music, New York University, and the New School, and is the Director of The Banff Centre’s International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music. In 2014, he began a permanent appointment as the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts in the Department of Music at Harvard University.

Vijay was voted the 2010 Musician of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association, and named one of 2011’s “50 Most Influential Global Indians” by GQ India. He was named DownBeat Magazine’s 2015 Artist of the Year and 2014 Pianist of the Year, a 2013 MacArthur Fellow, and a 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist. Other honors include the Greenfield Prize, the Alpert Award in the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and the India Abroad Publisher’s Special Award for Excellence.