Deborah Hay is widely acknowledged by both international critics and historians as one of the most influential representatives of postmodern dance. During the 1960s, Hay danced briefly with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company before joining a group of experimental artists, deeply influenced by Cunningham and John Cage. This group, Judson Dance Theater, which included Yvonne Rainer, Steve Paxton, Lucinda Childs and Trisha Brown, became one of the most radical and explosive art movements of the twentieth century. Hay quickly developed her singular approach to choreography and has stayed true to her iconoclastic path for almost fifty years.
Deborah Hay’s group work, If I Sing to You (2008), a commission from The Forsythe Company, received audience and critical acclaim through international touring. In 2000, she notably created Single Duet for herself and Mikhail Baryshnikov, which toured with the Past/Forward project. In 2007 Hay received a BAXten Award: ‘Your experimental work has remained alive and contemporary over four decades, inspiring your colleagues and peers and now - new generations of choreographers and performers. Your sustained commitment and your willingness to change course provides an example for others. Your articulate writing on the body and dance has had a profound impact on the field.’
‘There are aspects of dance performance that I had always accepted as a given. Working with Deborah Hay has deepened my understanding of what we do as dancers. She has helped bring a greater vitality to the stage’ - Mikhail Baryshnikov