David Gordon

9 Sep 2020


David Gordon, 2018, frame from reading for The Sentient Archive. Video by Dave Tavani.

David Gordon (1936–2022) was a choreographer, dancer, writer, and director based in New York City. He began creating performance works since the 1960s, first as a member of James Waring and Yvonne Rainer’s dance companies, then as a founder of improvisational group the Grand Union and not-for-profit theater organization the Pick Up Performance Co(s). He created dozens of pieces, including The Matter, Trying Times, Shlemiel the First, and Dancing Henry Five. He was awarded two Guggenheim Fellowships as well as several Bessie and Obie Awards, a Doris Duke Artist Award, and an American Masterpieces grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He received a BFA from Brooklyn College. Gordon contributed five artist statements to Center publication The Sentient Archive: Bodies, Performance, and Memory, a collection of essays that illustrate how the body serves as a repository for knowledge. In 2020, Gordon created The Philadelphia Matter - 1972/2020, a Center-supported dance piece presented by Christ Church Preservation Trust.