Lucinda Childs began her career as choreographer and performer in 1963 as an original member of the Judson Dance Theater in New York. After forming her own dance company in 1973, Ms. Childs collaborated with Robert Wilson and Philip Glass on the opera Einstein on the Beach, participating as leading performer and choreographer; she also participated in the revivals of the opera in 1984, and 1992.
Since 1979, Ms. Childs has collaborated with a number of composers and designers, including John Adams and Frank Gehry, on a series of large-scale productions. The first of these was Dance, choreographed in 1979 with music by Philip Glass, and a film/decor by Sol LeWitt, for which Ms. Childs was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. Dance was revived in July, 2009 at Bard College Summer Festival, and at the Yard on Martha’s Vineyard. Dance will tour in the Fall of 2009 with a season at the Joyce Theatre in October 6-11.
Since 1981, Ms. Childs has received a number of commissions from major ballet companies; these include the Paris Opéra Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Berlin Opera Ballet, Lyon Opéra Ballet, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, Geneva Opera Ballet, Ballet du l’Opéra du Rhin, the Boston Ballet, the Bayerisches Staatsballett of Munich and MaggioDanza in Florence.
In 2003, Ms Childs choreographed Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe, for the Geneva Opera Ballet and revived Concerto with music by Henry Gorecki, which choreographed for her own company in 1993. In 2003, she also choreographed a new solo for Mikhail Baryshnikov, Opus one with music by Alban Berg, and in 2004, Bartok’s Mandarin Merveilleux for the Ballet de l’Opéra du Rhin where Dance was revived and performed at the Theatre de la Ville in Paris and in the Festival de la Danse in Cannes...
In 2005, Ms Childs choreographed a Ten part Suite for the Boston Ballet with music by Arcangelo Corelli, which premiered in Boston at the Wang Center. She has also choreographed Stravinsky’s Firebird for MaggioDanza in Florence which was presented in a program that included a revival of John Adam’s Chairman Dances choreographed for Les Ballets de Monte Carlo in 2000, and Largo, a solo choreographed for Mikhail Baryshnikov in 2001. She has also choreographed Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms for MaggioDanza in May, 2007 with the revival of Daphnis et Chloe. In April 2007 Chamber Symphony with music by John Adams was revived by the Bayerisches Staats Ballett in Munich, where it premiered in 1994 and in the same year she returned to the Opéra du Rhin to choreograph and direct Stravinsky’s Le Rossignol, and Oedipus Rex, for the Opéra du Rhin which premiered in Strasbourg in March, 2007. Most recently she has choreographed Tempo Vicino for the Ballet National of Marseille which premiered in May, 2009.
During 1977-78, Ms. Childs performed opposite Wilson, in his two-act play I Was Sitting On My Patio This Guy Appeared I Thought I Was Hallucinating, and in 1987-88, in Wilson's production of Heiner Muller's Quartett at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1996-97, she appeared Wilson's production of La Maladie de la Mort by Marguerite Duras, opposite French actor Michel Piccoli. In 2007 she appeared in Robert Wilson’s production of Bach’s Passion of Saint John at the Théâtre de Chatelet in Paris.
Since 1992, Ms. Childs has worked extensively in the domain of opera, in Luc Bondy's production of Richard Strauss's Salome, which she choreographed for the Salzburg Festival, and in 1999, which was revived for La Scala in Milan in March, 2007. In addition, she choreographed Bondy's production of Verdi's Macbeth for the Scottish Opera and in 1995, and Peter Stein's De Nederlandse Opera's production of Moise et Aron. That same year Ms. Childs directed her first opera, Mozart's Zaide, for La Monnaie in Brussels.
In 2001, Ms Childs choreographed Los Angeles Opera’s production of Wagner’s Lohengrin, conducted by Kent Nagano. In 2002, Ms. Childs directed Gluck's Orfeo Ed Euridice for the Scottish Opera and in 2003, Ms. Childs was invited to return to Los Angeles Opera to choreograph and direct a new production of Orfeo Ed Euridice. Ms. Childs also choreographed Roland Aeschlimann's production of Wagner’s Parsifal, which premiered at the Grand Theatre de Genève in 2004, and most recently she choreographed John Adams new opera, Doctor Atomic, directed by Peter Sellars, which premiered in October, 2005 with the San Francisco Opera, and was revived by the Holland Festival in June, 2007, and most recently at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in December, 2007.
In June, 2009, the French and German Arts television program ARTE broadcast the film documentary by Patrick Bensard of La Cinémathèque de la Danse, which features Lucinda Childs in rehearsal with Mikhail Baryshnikov, and the Ballet de L’Opéra du Rhin in New York, London, and Paris, and includes interviews with Mikhail Baryshnikov, Philip Glass, Anna Kisselgoff, Yvonne Rainer, Susan Sontag, and Robert Wilson.
In 2004, Ms. Childs was appointed by the French Government to the rank of Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
Since 1978 Ms. Childs has taught a number of choreography workshops in Europe and the United States. She was in residence at the Harvard Summer Dance Center from 1080-89, and on the faculty of the Institute for Advanced Theatre Training for the American Repertory Theatre at Harvard during the 1986-87 season. Most recently she has conducted four workshops for the senior students of the Suola d’Arte Drammatica Paolo Grassi in Millan under the direction of the dance critic and writer, Marinella Guaterini.