Street Dance


Street Dance was Robert Dunn’s workshop assignment for the Judson Group, which was to make a dance that would be six minutes long. It has only been performed on three occasions: in 1964, at the studio of Robert and Judith Dunn; in 1965, at Robert Rauschenberg’s studio; and as part of the 2013 revival in Philadelphia.

Street Dance in performance, Sunday, October 6, 2013, at the University of the Arts, Philadelphia. Dancers: Janet Pilla and Michele Tantoco.

The action of Street Dance is viewed by an audience looking out of windows to the street below where dancers point out architectural features and details on signposts or the sidewalk too small for the audience to see. There is a pre-recorded narrative which describes each benchmark or location precisely as it is being pointed out or enacted. This is achieved by the use of a stopwatch during the performance to ensure the accuracy of the timings, which have been painstakingly rehearsed to discover the exact amount of time between each event.

October 6, 2013

The University of the Arts
(overlooking Broad Street between Sansom and Walnut Streets)


Janet Pilla and Michele Tantoco /
Nora Gibson and Gabrielle Revlock

Street Dance was an assignment in a workshop for the Judson Group by Robert Dunn, which was to make a dance that would be six minutes long. I decided that I should be absent from the performing space but visible for six minutes to the audience, from a window looking onto the street. I provided a tape recording that allowed them to hear my narration about the things on the street below, which could not actually be seen from their point of view. They could see me and my partner, as well as things happening spontaneously on the street, over which I had no control. For this revival, I have given the three couples the information necessary to create their own individual versions of this piece in front of the Wells Fargo building, and they have had to deal with the rigorous detail involved in making this kind of work (a process now referred to as “site specific”—I don’t know that that term actually existed at the time). In any case, it was my intention to have the dancers reconstruct the work by responding to my explanation of it, and then having them set out on their own with the necessary tools to make it for themselves.”

—Lucinda Childs, 2013

Premiere: July 23, 1964

Studio of Robert and Judith Dunn
541 Broadway
New York

First cast

Lucinda Childs
Tony Holder

Subsequent performances

Fall 1965
Studio of Robert Rauschenberg
Broadway between
11th and 12th Streets
New York


Lucinda Childs

Performance history as of December 2014.

Robert Dunn, “Judson Days.” Contact Quarterly XIV, 1 (Winter 1989): 10–12.

Steve Paxton, [drawings to accompany “Judson Days”]. Contact Quarterly XIV, 1 (Winter 1989): 10–12.

There is no video documentation of the first performances of Street Dance.

Archival Media

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