I worked on Trio A alone for six months in 1965. The dance initially consisted of a five-minute sequence of movement that would eventually be presented as The Mind Is a Muscle, Part I at Judson Church (on January 10, 1966). There it was performed by me, David Gordon, and Steve Paxton simultaneously but not in unison. An interim version of an extended, but not complete, The Mind Is a Muscle (Judson Church, May 22, 1966) was performed by William Davis, David Gordon, and Steve Paxton. In the final section of this version, called “Lecture,” Peter Saul executed a balletic solo version—that is, with pirouettes and jumps. In the final version (Anderson Theater, April 11, 1968) Trio A was performed by me in tap shoes (without balletic furbelows) at the end of the evening while Paxton, Gordon, and Davis performed it as a trio at the beginning.
The individual sequences last from four and a half to five minutes, depending on each performer's physical inclination. Two primary characteristics of the dance are its uninflected continuity and its imperative involving the gaze. The eyes are always averted from direct confrontation with the audience via independent movement of the head, closure of the eyes, or simple casting down of the gaze.