The Portal

Trisha Brown Archive

Trisha Brown Archive (2018). Photograph by Katherine Martinez.

The Trisha Brown Archive was established in 2009 by resolution of the Board of Trustees, to preserve the legacy of Brown’s life and work, and to make accessible important historical documents to Company staff, and to visiting researchers and students. Comprising approximately 3,000 unique audiovisual recordings, and over 200 linear feet of documents on paper, including the Trisha Brown Dance Company Records and Brown’s Personal Papers, as well as extensive photographic material and ephemera, the archive represents a comprehensive record of Brown’s creative process, with an interdisciplinary and collaborative focus reflected in the scope of its material. In September 2020, The Trisha Brown Dance Company announced the acquisition of the Trisha Brown Archives by the Jerome Robbins Dance Division of the New York Public Library.

My role as former archive director and Trisha Brown Dance Company member was developed to initiate the cataloguing and preservation of Brown’s body of work, approaching the archival materials as evidence of her interdisciplinary mind in movement. This role, which relies upon the embodied experiences from having performed, taught, and restaged the work was imagined to bring attention to Brown’s creative practices, centering the role of embodiment at the site of the archive. During this time, I directed an acquisition plan for the placement of Brown’s archive, and collaborated with David Thomson on an audiovisual database that tracks Brown's development of a lexicon of movement, mapping her choreographic forms into a vocabulary that can be searched and accessed. I created interdisciplinary curricula, while also restaging her seminal works.