Park Avenue Armory will present Trisha Brown Dance Company's reconstruction of ASTRAL CONVERTED, a groundbreaking work by choreographer Trisha Brown in collaboration with Robert Rauschenberg (visual and costume design) and John Cage (original music) July 10th – 14th, 2012. The piece will be presented in its entirety for the first time in 18 years in Park Avenue Armory's soaring 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall. The culminating work in Brown's Valiant Series, ASTRAL CONVERTED premiered at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. in 1991.
A defining feature of ASTRAL CONVERTED is a series of eight metal frame towers, created by Rauschenberg, which house the light and sound system for the performance. Constructed from automotive parts-including car headlights-and powered by car batteries, the towers are activated by motion sensors, allowing the dancers' movements to initiate the performance's light and sound. The movement combines sudden bursts of gravity-defying plunges and crashes with fluid leaps and falls creating an unpredictable and powerful choreographic work. Rauschenberg's original towers, which range from two to eight feet in height, are being fully restored for the Armory presentation.
Trisha Brown has a long history of collaboration with Rauschenberg, and ASTRAL CONVERTED, which is based on the earlier Astral Convertible (1989), marked their fifth collaboration. John Cage's original music for the work is entitled Eight and scored for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone and tuba. The piece, written in 1991, was part of Cage's Number Series, the title referring to the number of musicians performing the piece.
A series of installations of newly restored photographs and archival material relating to the artistic collaboration oF Brown and Rauschenberg will be presented in the Armory's period rooms. These installations will be on view to the public before and after performances.
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Photo Credit - Mark Hanauer.