Judson Dance Theater

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Robert McElroy’s photograph of Yvonne Rainer and Robert Morris in _See Saw_, 1960. © Robert R.
McElroy photographs of Happenings and early performance art, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2014.M.7). Image, Research Library, Getty Research Institute

Simone Forti. See Saw. 1960 285

Robert McElroy’s photograph of Yvonne Rainer and Robert Morris in See Saw, 1960. © Robert R.
McElroy photographs of Happenings and early performance art, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2014.M.7). Image, Research Library, Getty Research Institute

ANA JANEVSKI: Simone Forti began making what she called “Dance Constructions” in 1960 by combining ordinary movement, like walking, sliding, and climbing, with everyday objects like ropes and plywood boards. In the original version of Seesaw, Yvonne Rainer and Robert Morris moved up and down a long plank, balancing their bodies in relation to one another. Simone Forti:

SIMONE FORTI: At the ends of the plank that sits on the sawhorse, there were elastics going from the end of the plank to the lateral walls, so that as the Seesaw seesawed there would be this zigzag of elastics and plank. I like that the Seesaw works as a balancing tool for two people, but that this zigzag is also happening on its own.

ANA JANEVSKI: In those days of experimentation, even the artists sometimes struggled to find the right words to describe what they were doing. Yvonne Rainer:

YVONNE RAINER: It was called anti-dance a lot of what we did. Simone did all kinds of things but dance-wise, I wouldn't call this a dance. I don't know whether you'd call it a happening or a piece or, yeah, it was a piece.

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