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Rare, live performances of Yvonne Rainer, pioneering dancer, choreographer, filmmaker and writer, at IMMA this May

IMMA is delighted to present the work of world-class dancer, choreographer, filmmaker, and writer Yvonne Rainer—one of the most influential artistic figures of the last 50 years – later this month. Rainer’s work has been foundational across multiple disciplines and movements including dance, cinema, feminism, minimalism, conceptual art, and postmodernism. IMMA will present a selection of Rainer’s iconic early dance and film works and will bring the legendary artist to Dublin for a historic conversation about her career.

One of Rainer’s most renowned dance pieces, Trio A with Flag (1966), will be performed live at IMMA with her works Talking Solo from Terrain (1963) and Chair/Pillow (1969). A series of talks and conversations will accompany this programme featuring, amongst others; Yvonne Rainer, Irish Choreographer and dancer Liz Roche (Liz Roche Company) and Former Director of Tate Modern and Volksbühne, Berlin – Chris Dercon  who will talk about dance and performance invading the space of the museum. A talk takes place alongside each performance with Dercon’s keynote happening a week later.

A series of screenings will also be shown at IMMA from June 2018, featuring the acclaimed film-works Lives of Performers (1972), Privilege (1990) and MURDER and Murder (1996).

In 1962, as a founding member of Judson Dance Theater, Rainer revolutionized modern dance by introducing everyday movements like walking and running into the dance lexicon. Evoking responses that are at once theoretical, political and deeply personal, Rainer’s work continues to resonate with today’s shifting world. In the words of the artist Robert Rauschenberg, “Yvonne’s multi-media expertise and her dynamic exposure has shaken the world for years. I have known her through the years of the development. To assist in the continuation is a gift to culture.”  Now in her eighties and returned to choreography, she continues to create vibrant, courageous, unpredictable dances that invite audiences to question basic assumptions about art and performance.

Endeavouring to reflect the many facets of Yvonne Rainer’s practice, IMMA presents the work of Yvonne Rainer using a cross-disciplinary approach working in association with Dublin Dance Festival; the leading dance event on the Irish arts calendar. Each year in May, the Festival brings together dance artists and choreographers from across the world to share vibrant contemporary dance with audiences in Ireland.

All of the early dance works will be taught by choreographer Pat Catterson, Yvonne Rainer’s long-time assistant, performer, and transmitter of her dance-work. The performances will feature a cast of four dancers who travelled from all over the world to avail of the opportunity to dance for Yvonne Rainer, they are Stav Bar-Nahum Frank, Ty Boomershine, Dimitrios Mytilinaios and Mary Kate Sheehan.

Performance details:
Saturday 12 May, 19:30pm – includes a pre-performance lecture by Yvonne Rainer. SOLD OUT
Sunday 13 May, 15:30pm – includes a pre-performance talk by Rachael Gilbourne (Curator, IMMA).
Sunday 13 May, 19.30pm – includes a post-performance conversation between Liz Roche (Liz Roche Company) and Rachael Thomas (Senior Curator, IMMA).

Ticket prices: €15 full price / €12.50 conc, which include complimentary O’Hara’s Irish Craft Beer after the event.
Venue: Great Hall, IMMA.

Associated Keynote Lecture on Yvonne Rainer / Chris Dercon
Friday 18 May / 1pm – 2pm / Johnston Suite / IMMA

Chris Dercon, Former Director, Tate Modern and Volksbühne Berlin, will present a keynote lecture on pioneering dancer, choreographer, filmmaker and writer Yvonne Rainer. Drawing on Rainer’s incredible 50 years practice, and her influence on a subsequent generation of practitioners, Dercon’s talk examines the various ways dance and performance is used to intervene and invade the space of the museum, exploring historic and contemporary examples that defy categorisation.

This talk offers the rare chance to hear from one of the most prolific figures working and programming contemporary art, theatre, dance and performance, today.

IMMA presents Yvonne Rainer in association with Dublin Dance Festival with the support of Project Arts Centre and Dance Ireland.
See for booking all performances and talks.


For more information, images and access to rehearsals please contact Monica Cullinane e: [email protected]  t: + 353 1 612 9922

Additional Information

About the Artist / Yvonne Rainer (b. 1934, San Francisco)
Moving from San Francisco to New York in 1956, Yvonne Rainer studied dance at the Martha Graham School, while learning ballet at Ballet Arts. By the early 1960s, she had participated in Anna Halprin’s workshops, become a protégé of John Cage and Merce Cunningham, and was fully immersed in the New York performance scene. As a founding member of the legendary Judson Dance Theater, she collaborated with many ground-breaking artists of her generation: Robert Rauschenberg, Trisha Brown, Steve Paxton, Lucinda Childs, Robert Morris, and Carolee Schneemann. Rainer pursued a minimalist aesthetic, using everyday, spare pedestrian movements as seen in her masterwork Trio A (1966). Revolutionary at the time, her approach radically altered the vocabulary of dance and continues to inform contemporary artists working across disciplines today.

In the mid-1960s, Rainer began incorporating short film pieces and narrative into her dances. Her work became increasingly personal and political, and in the early 1970s she began to focus entirely on filmmaking. She went on to direct seven feature-films, each as experimental as her dance pieces, and explored themes such as political power, social exclusion, terrorism, sexuality, and illness. In 1997, retrospectives of her cinematic works were organised by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, New York.

In 2000, after 25 years of filmmaking, Rainer returned to dance with a newly commissioned work After Many a Summer Dies the Swan, which was recognized with a Bessie Award. Since then, she has choreographed several new dance pieces such as The Concept of Dust, or How do you look when there’s nothing left to move? at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2015. Rainer also developed her writing, releasing her memoir Feelings Are Facts: A Life, published by MIT Press in 2006, and a book of her poetry, Poems, released by Badlands Unlimited in 2012. Currently, she is a contributing writer to Triple Canopy. In 2014, the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles presented a major retrospective of Rainer’s dances and films. Rainer is the recipient of numerous awards, including two Guggenheim Fellowships, three Rockefeller Fellowships, a MacArthur Fellowship, a Wexner Prize, and in 2015, the Merce Cunningham Award. She currently lives and works in New York.