December 2015 Archways


23th April 2015; Berlin; Akademie der Künste Hanseatenweg; Trisha Brown Dance Company - Present Tense (2014, Rekonstruktion von 2003)

Pioneering choreographer Trisha Brown reimagined the body’s relationship to gravity and, along the way, changed the course of dance. In October, as part of In the New Body, a Philadelphia-wide festival celebrating this innovative artist, Bryn Mawr’s Performing Arts Department presented Proscenium Works, 1979–2011. The Trisha Brown Dance Company performed pieces that spanned three decades of her work: Set and Reset (1983, music by Laurie Anderson); If you couldn’t see me, the last solo Brown choreographed for herself (1994, music and visual presentation by Robert Rauschenberg); and Present Tense (2003, music by John Cage). Best-known as a choreographer/dancer, Brown also turned her hand to the visual arts.

For its contribution to In the New Body, Bryn Mawr Special Collections has staged Trisha Brown: (Re)framing collaboration, an exhibition of visual art by Brown and her collaborators, in the Canaday Library Rare Book Room (through December 11) and, before the October dance performance, hosted a gallery talk with exhibition curator Brian Wallace and artist Marissa Perel. Photograph by Dirk Bleicker.


StrayedCheryl Strayed is on a roll. Not only did her memoir Wild land at #1 on The New York Times bestseller list and get adapted into a major motion picture starring Reese Witherspoon, but Strayed herself was invited to Bryn Mawr as the 2015 Emily Balch Speaker.

An account of her impulsive decision, made in the wake of her mother’s death, to hike the 1,000-plus miles of the Pacific Crest Trail—and to hike it solo—Wild received universal praise from critics. Writing in Slate, Melanie Rehak wrote: “By laying bare a great unspoken truth of adulthood—that many things in life don’t turn out the way you want them to, and that you can and must live through them anyway—Wild feels real in many ways that many books about ‘finding oneself’ do not.”

Strayed’s October 8 visit to campus kicked off in Goodhart Theater, with a formal interview with a formal interview with Matt Ruben, coordinator of the Bryn Mawr Public Speaking Initiative. Following the event, Strayed joined students in Thomas Great Hall for a dessert reception and book signing.

In accepting the invitation, Strayed joined a distinguished roster of Balch Speakers, including Pulitzer Prize–winner Elizabeth Kolbert (2014), Royal Society of Literature Fellow Zadie Smith (2013), and MacArthur Genius recipients Alison Bechdel (2012) and Karen Russell (2011).

The Emily Balch Speaker Series is linked to the Emily Balch Seminars, Bryn Mawr’s discussion-oriented, reading- and writing-intensive courses for first-year students.