Questions of Practice: Writer and Dancer Wendy Perron on the Meaning of "Contemporary"

Questions of Practice: Writer and Dancer Wendy Perron on the Meaning of “Contemporary”

We asked writer and dancer Wendy Perron to discuss the meaning of “contemporary” in dance. Evoking Trisha Brown’s choreographic practice, Perron responded, “contemporary dance opens up the meanings” and “allows that we each come to a performance with our own life and our own way of perceiving.”

Writer and dancer Wendy Perron on the meaning of “contemporary”. Filmed at The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage on October 13, 2015.

With Center support, Bryn Mawr College presented Trisha Brown: In the New Body, a yearlong retrospective, which culminated in June of 2016 with the Pennsylvania Ballet’s US premiere of Brown’s ballet O zlozony/O composite.


Wendy Perron is a writer, dancer, choreographer, and editor-at-large of Dance Magazine. Perron is a former member of the Trisha Brown Company, and her own group, the Wendy Perron Dance Company, appeared at the Lincoln Center Festival, The Joyce Theater, Danspace Project, and other venues in the US and abroad from 1983-97. Perron is the author of Through the Eyes of a Dancer, and has contributed reviews and features to publications including The New York Times, Village Voice, Ballet Review, and Dance Magazine.