Artistic Legacy

At the core of Meredith’s contribution to dance lies her crossover collaboration. This includes work with other established artists as well as her “meshed interweaving” of music, gesture, choreography, text, objects, film, and overall spatial relationship. The general landscape of her pieces include what she refers to as “’transcultural’ chants, yodels, hums, clicks, glottal throat singing, lament, and lullaby to connect to ‘world vocal family’” (smithner 106).

“I don’t feel particularly connected to a movement like postmodernism on a certain level because I’m really interested in things that have always existed and that have a level of timelessness. I’m much more interested in the things that might have happened 25 million years ago as well as now, as well as the future.” (smithner 93)

It is because of this that Monk chooses not to use words in her music.

Meredith Monk – Inner Voice (Trailer)



What distinguished Meredith in her thinking about form and content was, “the constant shift of perceptions, the shifting of balance, the multidimensional experience- that’s what I want in my theatre” (Shapiro 1984:61)

She utilized structure as well as improvisation, humor and poignancy. Much like Martha Graham, she values the clash of ambivalence.

“I feel closer to [Martha] Graham than Cunningham because of the way she tries to make a composite form” (in Keonig 1976:52).

The complexity of the layering of elements is what fabricates the depth of Monk’s work. It is the interplay of rhythm, musicality, and space.

Meredith Monk – Carnegie Hall’s 2014-2015 Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair





2 thoughts on “Artistic Legacy

  1. I find it very interesting that she was characterized by this: “the constant shift of perceptions, the shifting of balance, the multidimensional experience- that’s what I want in my theatre” I think that in dance/art this shifting is very important to at least notice if not act upon. This shifting is what keeps the art forms moving forward. I really enjoy the quote where she talks about what she’s interested in. For example, the timelessness of things. I think that quote alone gave me a very clear understand of what she believes in and investigates through her movement.


    1. Yes, if you view her work it is very multidimensional and that is what I love most about it. She incorporates so many different layers of artistic medium and this is what I am also interested in as an artist. Her movement is simple (very post modern) yet her work speaks colossally through the different facets of her work.


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