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M.J. Thompson

mj thompson is a writer and teacher working in Montreal; she is currently completing a book about the dancer/choreographer Louise Lecavalier.

A QUI LE QUÉBEC? Scenes from the Maple Spring

An old woman strings up red lights from her balcony and gestures to student protesters to raise the volume. Kids paint red squares on the windows of their schools, their teachers waving from behind as thousands march by.


If Bill T. Jones has been haunted, in mind, gesture, and artistic output since the death of his partner/collaborator Arnie Zane in 1988, it is a specter that has proven contrarily useful.

Who Plays? Pedestrian Movement, Neumann Style

“Pedestrian” movement first flared on the radar in the 1960s in the dances of Judson Dance Theater.

Family Values

It’s not the parts, but the whole. All wholes are made of parts, and any parts, put together in certain ways, can make certain wholes make certain meanings.

At the Merce Fair

Now, as mythology and nostalgia swell in the wake of Cunningham’s life and achievement, the movement matters more than ever. If Lincoln Center’s mid-July presentation “Merce Fair” was more Wal-Mart than high art, the day nevertheless provided a real opportunity to see the company at work and the ideas in action.

Landscape Moves

To talk about landscape is to talk about desire—for the horizon, ever out of reach, and for more immediate surroundings, out of focus in their sheer proximity.

Dancing? “It’s Awesome”

Artist, movement innovator, and Judson Dance Theater alum Trisha Brown is still hot, still fluid, and busier than ever before.

“Catch Me, I'm Falling”

It’s work not as product, or fait accompli, but as total body struggle (psychic, social, physical, political): to perform, to overcome fear, to move past the pain, to feel the rush of adrenalin and the flow of embodied time, for the sake of the team, all the while risking catastrophic injury.


The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2023

All Issues