Magazine article Dance Teacher

Simon Forti

Magazine article Dance Teacher

Simon Forti

Article excerpt

b. 1935

Matriarch of minimalism

Simone Forti is a choreographer whose minimalist, improvisationbased work launched her to notoriety in the 1960s. Strongly associated with the postmodern dance collective Judson Dance Theater, due to her similar aesthetic and her participation in the composition course that sparked Judson's formation, Forti forged her own parallel choreographic path, which inspired Yvonne Rainer, Steve Paxton and Trisha Brown, and linked the progressive movements occurring on both the East and West Coasts.

Forti first encountered dance via postmodern dance pioneer Anna Halprin's improvisation classes in the San Francisco Bay area in 1955. Inspired by Halprin's unique approach to movement-forgoing traditional technical instruction in favor of exploratory improvisational exercises-Forti studied with her for four years.

In 1959, she and her then-husband, visual artist Robert Morris, moved to New York City, where she briefly studied with Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham. …

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