Simone Forti is an experimental dancer who began her career in the 1950s. She was inspired by Anna Halprin, the pioneer dancer who inaugurated the post-modern dance movement with the introduction of improvisation in choreography, and the Judson Dance Theater in New York, an important venue in the evolution of modern dance and a place of congregation for many artists, dancers, musicians, and poets. Forti was also involved in early performances with Robert Whitman and has collaborated with Trisha Brown, Yvonne Rainer, and La Monte Young, among others.
For the High Line, Forti presents Huddle, an experimental dance originally performed in 1961. This minimalist composition features a small group of dancers embracing each other tightly to form a single structural entity. One by one, each performer takes turns momentarily releasing from the mass and climbing over the top of the group, while the rest must improvise to keep the huddle intact and to determine who will be next to break away. The dancers’ improvisational movements cause the huddle to move along the High Line, showing the elements of chance that are fundamental to Forti’s work.
Photos by Liz Ligon.