Yvonne Rainer

Active - 1972 - 2010  |   Born - Jan 1, 1934   |   Genres - Drama, Avant-garde / Experimental, Romance, Comedy

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Biography by Sandra Brennan

Dancer and avant-garde filmmaker Yvonne Rainer was a part of the New York minmalist/structural movement of the '70s. Like many experimental filmmakers, Ranier avoids the traditional Hollywood concept of straightforward storytelling, however, as she is deeply interested in human relationships, she does inform her films with some narrative structures. Her films also exhibit her post-Modernist concerns, utilizing a variety of art and media forms to create a multi-layered series of images and texts. Prior to becoming a director, Ranier had been a dancer, studying during the '50s under Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham. In 1962, she and Steve Paxton co-founded the Judson Dance Workshop in New York. She then became a prominent figure in dance. By 1968, she had begun to mix live performances with slides and short films. This integration of media provided the basis for her first feature film, Lives of Performers (1972). She has been steadily making films since 1975.