Photo by Liz Ligon

Simone Forti


May 2012 – May 2012

On the High Line under The Standard, High Line; the 14th Street Passage; and the Chelsea Market Passage

May 24, 2012
6:00 – 7:30 PM

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.

Artist bio

Simone Forti (b. 1935, Italy) lives and works in Los Angeles. Recent performances include “Simone Forti: King’s Fool,” at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2013); “Platform 2012: Judson Now,” at Danspace Project, New York (2012); and “New Animation Improvisations” at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2012), among many others. She came of age as a dancer in the 1950s during her study with Anna Halperin in San Francisco. In 1959 she moved to New York, where she studied with Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham. Forti is considered one of several key figures in the minimalist dance movement. During this time she joined the Judson Church Dance Theater, and developed a series of happenings with her husband, Robert Whitman. Forti is also known for her musical collaborations in the 1960s and 1970s with La Monte Young and Yoko Ono. Forti has received the Lester Horton Lifetime Achievement Award from the Dance Recourse Center of Los Angeles, numerous fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as a Guggenheim Fellowship. She is an adjunct professor in the Department of World Arts and Cultures at the University of California Los Angeles, and continues to perform and teach workshops around the world.


This High Line Art Performance is presented by Friends of the High Line and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. High Line Art is made possible by Donald R. Mullen, Jr., additional support from Vital Projects Fund, Inc. This program is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and from the New York State Council on the Arts, celebrating 50 years of building strong, creative communities in New York State’s 62 counties.