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Claudia La Rocco

CLAUDIA LA ROCCO is a writer. She is editor in chief of SFMOMA’s arts and culture platform Open Space.

In Conversation

An Interview

Paul Chan, an artist who, on the occasion of the publication of his book Waiting for Godot in New Orleans: A Field Guide (Creative Time Books) and the premiere of the Godot archive at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (June 30, 2010–September 12, 2011), spends a hot afternoon talking to Claudia La Rocco.

Floor Plans

Whitney Biennial 2008: Installations and Performances

Daria Martin: Minotaur

Real Minotaurs Like It Dirty


‘This is visual art we’re talking about, period,’ Ms. Spector said. ‘Tino made that distinction. Either you respect it or you don’t. It makes perfect sense to many of us.'

Some Thoughts, Possibly Related, on Time, Criticism, and the Nature of Consciousness

Thanks, everyone, for coming. You’re all sitting down so nicely for this lecture, which is a lecture in 10 sections—or, more accurately, a rough draft of a lecture, with you all as my test audience.

To Whom It May Concern

I’ve always thought that almost anything anybody needed to know about criticism was hidden (in plain sight) in Jill Johnston’s “Marmalade Me.” Writing in the 1960s about art that was changing what the world thought art could be, she changed what we thought criticism could be—and that was just her warm up.

John Ashbery: Collages: They Knew What They Wanted

Tibor de Nagy Gallery September 4–October 4, 2008

Merce Cunningham Drawings and Videos

There is always the question, when looking at a minor body of work produced by someone who has mastered another form: Would this captivate, if made by an unknown artist?

Five One Liners

1. Pollock, de Kooning et al at the Jewish Museum:

Dear Connie,

I’ve been thinking and thinking how to answer your impossible prompt. How to talk about a place, or even know what a place is, in 2017, and then to further isolate what it might produce? Especially considering I only moved to this place in 2016.

In Conversation

SIMONE FORTI with Claudia La Rocco

While back in New York to teach a workshop and perform at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, Simone Forti invited Editor-at-Large Claudia La Rocco to her former SoHo loft to talk about her life as a choreographer, dancer and writer.

A MERCE CUNNINGHAM DANCE COMPANY QUICKIE (with an extended Trisha Brown Parenthetical)

Brandon Collwes, Dylan Crossman, Julie Cunningham, Emma Desjardins, Jennifer Goggans, John Hinrichs, Daniel Madoff, Rashaun Mitchell, Marcie Munnerlyn, Krista Nelson, Silas Riener, Jamie Scott, Robert Swinston, Melissa Toogood, Andrea Weber: those are all of them, the very last of the Mohicans.

In Conversation

THOMAS LEHMEN with Claudia La Rocco

During her recent artist residency at Arizona State University, Claudia La Rocco interviewed the German choreographer Thomas Lehmen, who is a clinical professor in the School of Dance. They spoke in his garden in Tempe, Arizona.

Editor’s Note

What does choreography look like on the page? The question came out of an email exchange with Aynsley Vandenbroucke, who suggested I see about answering it here.

That's All She Wrote Edited

This time last year, I was writing an introductory editor’s note to this section.

Rehearsal Diary

With found language from Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener, while watching and sometimes helping them make something that will eventually become Way In, a quartet with Davison Scandrett and La Rocco that is to have its premiere November 14 at Danspace Project.

Double the Pleasure: Dance Meets Poetry in 2wice

In her delightful memoir, Dancing with Cuba, Alma Guillermoprieto remembers her first years spent dancing in New York, including early morning practices of Twyla Tharp’s Medley on Central Park’s Great Lawn.

Editor's Note

Hi Everyone. This is my first month as the Rail’s dance editor. I was going to write one of those letters about how excited I am about this (which is true), and how I have all these ideas for making the section into a vibrant, artistic space (also true, but, honestly, letters like that always kind of irritate me, especially when I’m the one writing them).

In Conversation

BRIAN ROGERS with Claudia La Rocco

Claudia La Rocco ventured from Brooklyn to Long Island City, Queens, where the video and dance artist Brian Rogers is the founding artistic director of the interdisciplinary Chocolate Factory Theater. They were joined briefly by his partner-in-crime, executive director Sheila Lewandowski.

Editor’s Note

I can’t remember when I fell in love with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.

Taking It Lying Down: John Jasperse at The Kitchen

I could reach up and touch the razor burn on Luciana Achugar’s inner thigh. Eleanor Hullihan’s extended foot swept past my face, close enough for me to see a few unraveling strands of tape on one bandaged, dirty toe. Then she was gone, straddling me and hurtling backwards with startling speed.

Taylor Turns 50

A splendid romp with dancers sprinting diagonals across the stage, arms pumping, Esplanade, in all its gleeful abandon and racing-hearts-of-first-love ebullience, manages to make the simplest of movements – running, skipping, walking, jumping – virtuosic modern dance, seminal in its declaration that yes, all this too can be dance.

Rags and Riches: Caitlin Cook at the Kitchen

For her recent evening-length work, Skint, Caitlin Cook reassembled The Kitchen’s bleacher seating into a sort of balcony so that, at least for those of us in the front and center. ...

From Mania to Melancholy: Tere O'Connor at the Kitchen

Shards of almost-familiar music embedded in sonic dissonance.

Fostering an Underrepresented Dance Audience: Dancers

Six nights, 30 companies, $10 a pop: Earlier this year, City Center offered dance lovers a feast with the Fall for Dance Festival. Anyone who has calculated the median age of audience members at the city’s larger dance theaters (or of the reviewers, for that matter) can tell you that the dance world is desperate for new blood.

From the Bathhouse to the Bedroom

Theaters acquire energies in keeping with what goes on in them. The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), with its penchant for the European spectacle, contains a jazzier buzz than the (sadly) staid Joyce, while the renovated Dance Theater Workshop (DTW) is too new for any real aura.

Thirteen ways of looking at Shen Wei

A dancer slides onto canvas, propelling herself diagonally across the stage in arcs and circles, an ecstasy of release from the structured restraint that has held her thus far.

In Conversation


While back in New York in between tour stops, Merce Cunningham Dance Company members Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener sat down with Claudia La Rocco in Riener’s Manhattan apartment to talk about life with and after Cunningham—and his company.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2023

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