History and Early Works
In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Nancy Karp was drawn to the Bauhaus and DeStijl schools of art and design. Choreographing from a minimalist point of view, she created a body of work that investigated pure pattern in combination with a movement palette stripped to its bare essentials.
Also during this period, Ms. Karp spent five years intensively studying the South Indian art forms of Carnatic music and Bharata Natyam with the great artists, T. Balasarawati, and T. Viswanathan.This resulted in the addition of complex rhythmic movement phrases to what she came to call "pattern dances." Dances from the period include Stamping Dance (1977), Jumping Phase (1977-78), Reminiscence (1978), Trio Dance (1978 ), River Canon (1979), Running Dance (1980), Overlapping Lines & Curves (1981), Elliptical Scherzo (1981), Passing By (1982), Relay Relay (1982), and Elevator, No Elevator (1983).
Along with her interest in Carnatic music and dance Ms Karp immersed herself in Javanese and American Gamelan music. She composed the music for all of these works for American Gamelan and small chamber ensembles.Ms. Karp developed a personal scoring method for her dances based on the geometric floor patterns of each work. This method is fea