b. 1941, Brooklyn, NY; lives in Austin, TX
In the early 1960s, Deborah Hay trained with Mia Slavenska and Merce Cunningham. In 1964, Hay participated in an international tour with the Cunningham Dance Company. She then joined the Judson Dance Theater as performer and choreographer. Along with her collaborators, she attempted to blur the line traditionally separating trained and untrained dancers.
In 1970, Hay left New York to live in Vermont. During this period, her works were no longer presented to the public. Her observations during annual group workshops were distilled into solo dances, now her preferred type of choreography. In 2000, she choreographed a duet for herself and Mikhail Baryshnikov, which toured with the Past/Forward project, a series of performances updating the choreographic scores of the Judson Group Theater, among others. Hay also creates new group choreographies based on the reinterpretation of her solo dances by several different performers.
In Solo, Hay makes a deliberate refusal to subject the music, objects, lights, dancers, and costumes to a hierarchical system. 9 Evenings was an opportunity to delve more deeply into this way of thinking about movement, and her work with the event’s engineers was concentrated mainly on developing remote-controlled carts.