American choreographer Trisha Brown, a pioneer of postmodern dance whose work shaped generations of creators, has died at the age of 80, her company said today. "It is with great sorrow that we share the news that artist Trisha Brown died on March 18th in San Antonio, Texas, after a lengthy illness," the dance company said in a statement. Brown formally retired five years ago after decades as a leading light on the international dance stage, working mostly out of New York but also choreographing for the Paris Opera Ballet. The Trisha Brown Dance Company paid tribute to "one of the most acclaimed and influential choreographers and dancers of her time" whose "groundbreaking work forever changed the landscape of art." Born in 1936 in Aberdeen, Washington, Brown graduated in 1958 from the Mills College Dance Department in California, and arrived in New York three years later in search of new directions. She became a founding member of the Judson Dance Theater, an influential collective of avant-garde performers that emerged in 1960s New York. After setting up her own company in 1970, she would spend the next four decades exploring new paths in contemporary dance, with a strong focus on experimentation and improvisation. The creator of more than 100 choreographies and six operas, she retired as a dancer in 2008 and choreographed her last works three years later. Brown's husband, the artist Burt Barr, died in November.
She is survived by a son, four grandchildren, a brother and a sister.