Yvonne Rainer  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Yvonne Rainer (born November 24, 1934, San Francisco) is an American choreographer and filmmaker, whose work in both disciplines is frequently challenging and experimental.

Choreography

In 1957 Rainer moved to New York to study theater. She found herself more strongly drawn to modern dance than acting, however, and began studying at the Martha Graham School and later with Merce Cunningham. Rainer was one of the organizers of the Judson Dance Theater, a focal point for vanguard activity in the dance world throughout the 1960s, and she formed her own company for a brief time after the Judson performances ended. Rainer is noted for an approach to dance that treats the body more as the source of an infinite variety of movements than as the purveyor of emotion or drama. Many of the elements she employed—such as repetition, patterning, tasks, and games—later became standard features of modern dance.

Her best-known dance, “Trio A,” a section of a larger work called The Mind Is a Muscle, consists of a simultaneous performance by three dancers that includes a difficult series of circular and spiral movements. It has been widely adapted and interpreted by other choreographers. She choreographed more than 40 concert works, most notably Terrain and This Is a Woman Who….

Cinema

Rainer sometimes included filmed sequences in her dances, and in the mid-1970s she began to turn her attention to film directing. Her early films do not follow narrative conventions, instead combining reality and fiction, sound and visuals, to address social and political issues. Rainer directed several experimental films about dance and performance, including Lives of Performers (1972), Film About a Woman Who (1974), and Kristina Talking Pictures (1976). Her later films include The Man Who Envied Women (1985), Privilege (1990), and MURDER and murder (1996). The last-mentioned work, more conventional in its narrative structure, is a lesbian love story as well as a reflection on urban life and on breast cancer, and it features Rainer herself. Her film work has received several awards, and in 1990 she was a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation fellowship.






Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Yvonne Rainer" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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