Document(s): Capturing the tone, celebrating the work: A conversation with Wendy Rogers and Sara Rudner

“Capturing the tone, celebrating the work: A conversation with Wendy Rogers and Sara Rudner” is from the Document(s) series, a library of commentary on people and issues in the dance field. This repository of essays includes interviews by writers and thinkers on dance, as well as “dance discursions,” which offer opportunities for reflection on the field of dance commissioned by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

The dance discursion, “Rogers + Rudner: Then + Now,” co-presented by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage and Dance/USA Philadelphia on September 29, 2007, culminated in a public discussion on dance making with pioneer postmodern dance artists Wendy Rogers and Sara Rudner at The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. Dance writer, presenter, and artist Lisa Kraus moderated the conversation, which is transcribed here.

From Kraus’ introduction:

“It’s my honor to say a few words before Sara Rudner and Wendy Rogers speak to us and show video examples of the work they made together. I want to begin by mentioning a ‘behind the scenes’ moment I just witnessed: Wendy was chatting with Sara about something she had been observing. I have no idea what it was. But it was so moving to her that she had to get up and demonstrate. Not only demonstrate, but also run around in a circle. And then Sara doubled over in laughter. They were looking at each other like there was no one on the planet they would rather be talking to. And I believe that’s why we’re here.”

From the conversation:

Wendy Rogers: “She invited me out for an egg cream. I was from the West Coast. I had no idea what an egg cream was. I was a little bit concerned.”

Sara Rudner: “We’re East Coast people, so we had an egg cream. It was very obvious to me—and it has been proven so over the decades—that this is a unique relationship, one that I have never found with anyone else: being able to go into a room and come out at the end of an afternoon with a 20-minute dance that has all sorts of detail and variety and commitment. I mean, that’s unheard of.”

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