“Two Performances in Honor of Judson” to celebrate dance pioneers

Two Performances In Honor of Judson
with work by choreographers, composers and performers Toby Armour, Arthur Aviles, Remy Charlip, Malcolm Goldstein, Aileen Passloff, Yvonne Rainer, Carolee Schneemann, EmmaGrace Skove-Epes, and Elaine Summers will take place Friday and Saturday, October 29 and 30, 2010 at 8:00 p.m. at Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South, in New York City.

Tickets are $20 (students/seniors $10) and can be purchased at www.judson.org or by calling 917-727-0431.

The program will include:

  • Welcome, by Toby Armour (Premiere)
  • Dance for Carola (excerpt, 1962), choreography by Elaine Summers
  • Soundings for Solo Violin, by Malcolm Goldstein
  • Trio A: Geriatric with Talking, choreography by and performed by Yvonne Rainer (Premiere)
  • Falling Dance, based on the drawings of Remy Charlip, interpreted by Aileen Passloff and Arthur Aviles
  • A Lesson in French (2007), choreography by EmmaGrace Skove-Epes
  • Nocturne for Bob (2002), choreography by Aileen Passloff
  • Lateral Splay (1963), choreography by Carolee Schneemann

The Artistic Director of the performance is Aileen Passloff, who has enjoyed a long career as a choreographer, dancer, director, actor, teacher, and who was instrumental in the founding of Judson Dance Theater. According to Passloff, “pioneering artists who had their beginnings at Judson Church will be returning to perform or speak about their memories and about their collaborations in Greenwich Village during a period of political and social ferment.” Two Performances In Honor of Judson is produced by Nicole and Michael Bloom.

These performances are held in conjunction with the exhibition “A Sanctuary for the Arts: Judson Memorial Church and the Avant-Garde, 1954-1977”, which opens at the Fales Library in the NYU Library on October 28. This groundbreaking exhibition, curated by Joanna Steinberg, will explore the synergies between the artists who performed at Judson Memorial Church in the 1960s and 70s and the church ministry and congregation. While the arts movements that took shape at Judson Church have enjoyed prominence, this exhibition re-examines the church’s involvement in the downtown arts scene, giving the church a stronger presence in the narrative.

A Roundtable Discussion, moderated by famed Village Voice critic Deborah Jowitt, launches the exhibition, focusing on the reverberations of Judson’s history, both for the church and the arts. Participants will include Essie Borden (former member of the Judson Poet’s Theater and congregant), and renowned members of Judson Dance Theater Malcolm Goldstein, Carolee Schneemann, and Yvonne Rainer. The roundtable discussion will be at Judson Church at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 28th, and the exhibition opening and reception will follow directly at 7:45 p.m. at Fales Library on the 3rd Floor of the NYU’s Bobst Library (one block east of Judson).


The exhibition “A Sanctuary for the Arts: Judson Memorial Church and the Avant-Garde, 1954-1977” will be held at Fales Library, New York University (3rd Floor of the NYU’s Bobst Library) from October 28, 2010 – January 7, 2011. The Tracey/Barry Gallery is located at New York University, 70 Washington Square South in New York City. Hours are: Monday-Thursday: 10:00am – 5:45pm; Friday: 10:00am – 4:45pm, and closed on weekends. The exhibition will remain open until 8:00 pm on Friday evening before the performance. Visit http://www.judson.org/falesexhibition for more information.

The multi-media exhibition features original prints by photographers: Martha Holmes, Peter Moore, Al Giese, Jan Van Raay, Julie Abeles, Larry Fink, and Howard Smith among others; printed materials: programs, posters, graphic notations; and oral histories.  There are writings by Al Carmines and Howard Moody about Judson’s Arts Ministry, music recordings, and video recordings of dance performances, among other never-before-seen visuals that have been loaned from congregants’ personal collections. Featured subjects include artists Meredith Monk, Claes Oldenberg, Steve Paxton, Yvonne Rainer, and Carolee Schneeman, A complete list of artists featured in the exhibition is available upon request.

Curator Joanna Steinberg has worked in the education department at the Museum of the City of New York since she graduated from Oberlin College in 2006. Last June she completed her Master’s degree in the Public History and Archives program at New York University.

Judson Memorial Church defines itself as “a church in the Christian tradition and a sanctuary for progressive activism and artistic expression.” In the 1950s Judson reinvented many of its traditions and its liturgy, and integrated the arts into its mission, beginning with the Judson Gallery in 1957. The Judson Poets’ Theater and Judson Dance Theater followed in 1961 and 1962, transforming the church’s meeting room into a dynamic space where three communities came together: a congregation involved in the political, spiritual, and artistic activities of the church; the artists who created and performed innovative visual art, theater, and dance; and Greenwich Village neighbors and city residents, who provided the audience for Judson’s bold experiments.