Carolyn Brown, In the Summer of 1953… (detail). Ink on paper. Collection of Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center. Gift of the Artist.

Carolyn Brown (Student 1953 Summer Session) (b.1927)

Carolyn Brown was a founding member of the Cunningham Dance Company, spending three weeks at Black Mountain College in 1953. She was the most prominent female dancer in Cunningham’s company for the next twenty years and danced in 40 of his works, often collaborating with Cunningham and John Cage in the creative process. She created a role in Cage’s Theatre Piece (1960) and on pointe in Robert Rauschenberg‘s first dance work Pelican (1963). Her own choreography includes Car Lot (1968), As I Remember It (Jacob’s Pillow, 1972), Bunkered for a Bogey (1973), House Party (1974), Circles (1975), and Balloon II (Ballet-Théâtre Contemporain, 1976). 

 Upon retirement in 1973 she took up teaching. She also continues to work with the Cunningham company as an artistic consultant. She is a member of the Cunningham Dance Foundation Board of Directors, and has worked as a freelance choreographer, filmmaker, writer, lecturer, and teacher.

 She has been awarded the Dance Magazine Award, five National Endowment for the Arts grants, and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. Her writing has been published in The New York TimesDance PerspectivesBallet Review, and the Dance Research Journal. She lives in Millbrook, New York.