Trisha Brown Dance Company Repertory: Composition, Techniques, and Performance

COURSE DATES: July 11 to July 24, 2016

This course provides an unparalleled experience to learn from Eva Karczag and Lisa Kraus, dancing masters and former members of the Trisha Brown Dance Company. Trisha Brown is regarded as a postmodern legend. She is known internationally as an artist who changed the definition of dance forever.

  • This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn challenging and rewarding dance repertory that will transform your technical and compositional skills while honing your ability to collaborate with others.
  • Two original Trisha Brown Dance Company dancers will lead workshops on Brown’s iconic 1981 work, Son of Gone Fishin’ – a dance known for its intricate structuring and fluid movement.
  • This intensive course includes: morning sessions consisting of rigorous technical training that includes improvisation, embodied anatomy, concepts drawn from the Alexander Technique™, and full-bodied phrase-work; afternoon sessions applying the material from the morning into collaboration, composition, and performance; and screenings and discussions of rare historical footage.
  • This course will culminate in a public performance of student work.

undergrad: DANCE 421/3 UNITS
graduate: DANCE 621/3 UNITS


This course is designed for undergraduate students, graduate students, and professional dance artists interested in postmodern/contemporary dance and the Trisha Brown Dance Company legacy. Participants who are committed to rigorous movement exploration and composition are highly encouraged to apply.

1) Submit a 150-word biography, a photograph of you dancing, and a 200-400 word letter of intent. If applying for financial aid, please attach two letters of recommendation.
2) Upload the materials listed in step one with your completed Registration Form by May 16, 2016.

Professor Karen Schaffman


Eva Karczag
For the past four decades Eva Karczag has practiced, taught, and advocated for explorative methods of dance making. She danced with the Trisha Brown Dance Company from 1979 to 1985, creating original roles in Opal Loop, Son of Gone Fishin’ and Set and Reset, and continues to teach through the company education program in New York and elsewhere. She appeared in the television project Beyond the Mainstream and the James Byrne video of Set and Reset. Eva earned her MFA from Bennington College, and is a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique. She has taught dance and the Alexander Technique™ at major colleges and studios throughout the United States, Europe, and Australia, including a sustained period of teaching on the faculty of the European Dance Development Center from 1990 to 2002. Her performance work and her teaching are informed by dance improvisation and mindful body practices that engender trust in the body’s innate capacity for ease and efficiency and create integrated openness and buoyant suppleness, characteristic of Trisha Brown’s fluid, easeful style of dancing. Eva performs solo and collaborative work internationally. Her recent performances include Red Thread, a long-term collaborative performance project with Lisa Kraus and Vicky Shick; Promenade, a series of improvised durational performance/installations with visual artist Chris Crickmay and composer Sylvia Hallett; and ongoing collaborative duets with Shelley Senter and Vicky Shick (New York), Malgven Gerbes and Bettina Neuhaus (Berlin), and Gaby Agis (London).

Lisa Kraus
Lisa Kraus studied at the Graham and Cunningham Schools and with James Waring before attending Bennington College where Judith Dunn and Steve Paxton were her teachers. She created a role in Trisha Brown’s Duetude (1976) in Boston, then danced with the Company from 1977 to 1982. Lisa originated roles in Glacial Decoy, Opal Loop, and Son of Gone Fishin’ as well as appearing in the television and film projects Making Dances and Beyond the Mainstream. In 2003, she was Rehearsal Director for the Paris Opera Ballet’s production of Glacial Decoy, first teaching the work and then returning to coach in 2004 and 2013. In 2012 she co-taught Line Up for performances in the Venice Biennale. Her own work has been presented in the United States, Europe, and Australia. She has been awarded Choreographer’s Fellowships from National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and Independence Foundation. She was on the faculty of the European Dance Development Center in the Netherlands for a decade and has also served as adjunct faculty member at Swarthmore College, Temple University, and New York University, as well as guest teaching at numerous schools and arts centers internationally. Lisa has written extensively on dance for publications including the Philadelphia Inquirer and Dance Magazine, and co-founded thINKingDANCE, an online dance journal. Her most recent production, Red Thread, was a collaboration with former TBDC colleagues Eva Karczag and Vicky Shick. She is curator and project director for Trisha Brown: In the New Body (, a yearlong celebration of the innovative choreographer’s artistry featuring performances, workshops, lectures and an exhibition.

For more information, please visit

Artists’ Assistant Anya Cloud is a San Diego-based contemporary dance artist who travels nationally and internationally to research, teach, and perform.

Course Coordinator Karen Schaffman (CSU San Marcos, Dance) is a dance artist, educator, writer, and curator. Her research engages sensorial perception, improvisation, and collaboration. Karen has studied, performed, and taught internationally, and produced many celebrated artists with Lower Left (co-founder), Angela Guerreiro for the Live Legacy Project, and currently PADL West (founder) with co-directors Anya Cloud and Eric Geiger. Karen earned a PhD in dance history and theory from UC Riverside, which her research focusing on a cultural and choreographic analysis of contact improvisation in the 1990s. She is also a graduate of the European Dance Development Center (Netherlands), where she studied with Eval Karczag and Lisa Kraus. She is in her fourth year of training at The Feldenkrais Institute of San Diego.