The dancer Cecily Campbell is alone onstage whenever you start to listen to it: the faint sound of a marching band floating via the silence. Is it the abnormal commotion of New York City, on the road exterior the theater, or a part of the dance?
Over her 40-year profession, the choreographer Trisha Brown produced an enormous physique of labor stuffed with mischief, thriller and shock. Her musical idea for “Foray Forêt” — to ship a brass band roving past the stage — ranks amongst her slyest and most pleasant selections, epitomizing how she might wring layers of which means from a seemingly easy concept.
On Tuesday on the Joyce Theater, the Trisha Brown Dance Company, in a pandemic-delayed celebration of its fiftieth anniversary, introduced again that 1990 gem and “Astral Converted” (1991), two works that Brown created sequentially with the artist Robert Rauschenberg, her collaborator and pal. More than 30 years later, each maintain up as quietly dazzling examples of boundless, intricate motion invention inside luminous visible and sonic landscapes.
With the affiliate creative director Carolyn Lucas on the helm, the present firm contains dancers each well-versed in Brown’s oeuvre and a lot newer to it. While that variation confirmed at instances, they collectively rose to the convoluted challenges of this program.
One appeal of “Foray” is the distinction between its supple, understated motion — carried out by a forged of 9 in Rauschenberg’s ethereal, metallic costumes — and the grander photographs of formality and revelry known as up by the sound of the band. Brown was working with a vocabulary that she known as “delicate aberrations,” and small-scale gestures repeatedly catch the attention, like palms carving the air in a scalloping movement, or a forearm folding right into a rib.
But even the extra extravagant actions — sudden daring leaps or suggestions off-center — unspool with the benefit and inevitability for which Brown’s work is thought, one motion effortlessly igniting the following. In a duet for Campbell and Stuart Shugg, two of probably the most skilled and compelling firm members, she bumps him together with her hip, then hooks a foot round his ankle, the form of rapid-fire disruption and restoration of stability that occurs once more and once more.
Barely audible at first, the Jina Brass Band (directed by Sunny Jain) grows louder because it migrates across the edges of the theater, nonetheless out of sight. The faraway music makes the dance really feel like a secret that we’re aware about, as if we had slipped behind the scenes of a carnivalesque occasion. When the 5 musicians lastly seem, simply moments earlier than the tip, they’re as unintrusive as the remainder of the dance, coming and going like a lightweight summer time rain.
In “Astral Converted” (an evolution of Brown’s earlier “Astral Convertible”), 9 dancers share the stage with a set of Rauschenberg’s skeletal aluminum towers. These light-emitting buildings reply to movement sensors on the dancers’ costumes: silver unitards, additionally by Rauschenberg, with shimmery webbing between the legs for the ladies. That curious element, which causes the ladies to look extra constrained, is the one a part of this work that hasn’t aged properly.
Brown created “Astral Converted” for the out of doors stage on the National Mall in Washington, considering what an aerial view may appear to be. The consequence, to a spare John Cage rating, pairs slinky, sculptural floor-bound motion — the dancers may very well be deep-sea creatures — with high-velocity standing phrases, which at instances make dexterous use of two brooms as dance companions. On Tuesday it was danced with what felt like a targeted reverence for Brown, who died in 2017. If something was lacking, it was the abandon that may get misplaced amid such cautious reconstruction.
Trisha Brown Dance Company
Through May 29 on the Joyce Theater, joyce.org.