Trisha Brown, (born November 25, 1936, Aberdeen, Washington, U.S.—died March 18, 2017, San Antonio, Texas), American dancer and choreographer whose avant-garde and postmodernist work explores and experiments in pure movement, with and without the accompaniments of music and traditional theatrical space. Brown studied modern dance at Mills College in Oakland, California (B.A., 1958). Her style began developing after she met choreographer Yvonne Rainer in 1960; together they
became founding members of the experimental Judson Dance Theater in 1962. From 1970 through 1976 Brown was also a founding member of the improvisational Grand Union, and in 1970 she formed her own company, the Trisha Brown Dance Company, which was an all-female dance company until 1979.
Brown was influenced by the avant-garde style developed most prominently by Merce Cunningham during the 1960s and ’70s. Although grounded in Martha Graham’s technique
(Cunningham had been a student of Graham’s), avant-garde dance evolved as a reaction to the more structured and formal classical ballet and classical modern dance. Avant-garde dancers believed that dance could be divorced from music, that dances could be themeless and plotless, and that dance could also reflect the dancer’s internal rhythms.