University of Rochester

EVENT: Two Days of Programs with Yvonne Rainer Span Her Contributions to Film, Art, Literature and Dance

November 4, 2004

Renowned choreographer and filmmaker Yvonne Rainer will present the Rochester premier of her new video, After Many a Summer Dies the Swan: Hybrid, together with Rainer Variations, a video portrait of her by Charles Atlas, and a conversation about her work at 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18, in the Dryden Theater at George Eastman House.

Rainer, who is recognized as the founder of postmodern dance and famous for her choreography and filmmaking, will give the Craig Owens Memorial Lecture at the University of Rochester at 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19. The lecture is free and open to the public; the presentation at the Dryden Theater is free to University of Rochester faculty, students, and staff; $6 for the general public, $4 for Eastman House members.

The screenings at the Dryden Theater at 900 East Ave. also will include a 1976 film of Rainer’s signature dance work, Trio A. The conversation with the filmmaker will be conducted by Douglas Crimp, professor of art in the Graduate Program in Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester.

Friday’s lecture in the Gowen Room of Wilson Commons on the University’s River Campus is titled “Feelings Are Facts,” drawn in part from a memoir Rainer is writing. The annual lecture was established in memory of Craig Owens, who taught in the Department of Art and Art History from 1988 to 1990, and who died of complications resulting from AIDS in 1990.

Rainer has received many honors as she has pursued multiple careers as choreographer, dancer, filmmaker, and writer. The central figure of the Judson Dance Theater in New York in the early 1960s, she is credited as a founder of postmodern dance.

She turned her attention to filmmaking with her first feature, Lives of Performers. Her second film, Film About a Woman Who…, is one of the first significant feminist films. After completing seven features, Rainer returned to choreography in the late 1990s in order to work with Mikhail Baryshnikov. She choreographed “After Many a Summer Dies the Swan” for Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project, a work that premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2000. Rainer also has published widely, including two volumes of essays, interviews, and film scripts, and she is currently writing a memoir.

Her work has been recognized with many prestigious awards, among them the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Wexner Prize, a Bessie Award, the Maya Deren filmmaking award, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Rainer also has been awarded four honorary doctorates.

The Owens lecture is made possible by the College Dean’s Office and is co-sponsored by the Departments of Anthropology, Art and Art History, English, Modern Languages and Cultures, the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women’s Studies, the Film and Media Studies Program, the Dance Program, and the Graduate Organizing Group at the University of Rochester.

For more information, contact (585) 275-9249.