Judson Dance Theater: The Work Is Never Done

From Dancing in Museums: A Decade of Movement

In 2018 the Museum of Modern Art unveiled one of the most ambitious, comprehensive dance exhibitions ever presented by a museum: “Judson Dance Theater: The Work Is Never Done.” Exploring the history and continued resonance of Judson Dance Theater—the 1960s collective that expanded ideas of what dance could be, rejecting spectacle and embracing the everyday—the show featured performances of works by founding members of the group, including Yvonne Rainer, the focus of this illuminating video.

In casual conversation with two of her longtime dancers and the exhibition’s chief curators, Rainer comments on some of the early works she brought to the museum atrium: We Shall Run (1963), Trio A with Flags (1970), Three Seascapes (1962), and Diagonal (1963). She offers insight into the physical experience of performing these pieces, what they require of dancers, and the processes of their creation and rehearsal. While briefly addressing the challenge of exhibiting dance in such a busy space, this candid dialogue doesn’t dwell on what it means to dance in a museum, coaxing our attention toward the nuances of the work itself and the people who make it happen.

December 4, 2019

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

Curated by

Siobhan Burke