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Topic: Merce Cunningham

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In the News (Wed 20 Mar 19)

  Merce Cunningham - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Merce Cunningham (born April 16, 1919 in Centralia, Washington, United States) is an American dancer and choreographer.
A long-term collaborator with and romantic partner of composer John Cage, Cunningham is commonly recognized as one of the most innovative and influential figures in modern dance.
Cunningham was on the development team for the dance software originally called Lifeforms now called Danceforms, the software allows the user to choreograph on a computer.
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Merce_Cunningham   (519 words)

 Salon Arts & Entertainment | Dancing with ghosts   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-08)
Merce Cunningham's "Biped" is a dramatic feat of computerized choreography.
In the late '70s, when I first saw the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, the dances ("Squaregame," "Sounddance," "Travelogue," "Roadrunners") were so unexpected and violently alive, and the dancers so startled by their own conviction, that when the curtain came down I started to cry.
Cunningham was a visual artists' choreographer before the dance world embraced him, and he often uses space as a metaphor for time.
www.salon.com /ent/feature/1999/04/28/merce/index.html   (768 words)

 BAM : Brooklyn Academy of Music
Cunningham and Caplan again collaborated on Changing Steps, which was taped in October 1988 at the Sundance Institute and the Osmond Studio, in Utah, and has been broadcast worldwide.
Cunningham's other activities include classes and workshops at the Merce Cunningham Studio, and workshops and lectures both in the United States and abroad, most recently (with Robert Swinston) a workshop in Cunningham technique in Moscow, March 1995, sponsored by the Trust for Mutual Understanding.
In June 1993, Cunningham was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs, NY and in July 1993, he was awarded the Medal of Honor of the Universidad Complutense of Madrid in El Escorial, Spain.
www.bam.org /about/Artist_Bios/mercecunningham.aspx   (1007 words)

 American Masters . Merce Cunningham | PBS
he title of Charles Atlas' new documentary on Merce Cunningham may be taken quite literally: his mother described his dancing down the aisle of the church the family attended in Centralia, Washington, at the age of four.
Cunningham's dancers are not pretending to be anything other than themselves-as he once said, "you are not necessarily at your best, but at your most human."
The other principle that Cunningham and Cage shared was the use of chance procedures in the composition of their works.
www.pbs.org /wnet/americanmasters/database/cunningham_m.html   (615 words)

 Merce Cunningham Dance Company | About Merce
Both Cunningham and Cage made extensive use of chance procedures, which meant that not only musical forms but narrative and other conventional elements of dance composition, such as cause and effect, climax and anticlimax, were also abandoned.
Cunningham is not interested in telling stories or exploring psychological relationships: the subject matter of his dances is the dance itself.
MERCE CUNNINGHAM, born in Centralia, Washington, received his first formal dance and theater training at the Cornish School (now Cornish College of the Arts) in Seattle.
www.merce.org /about.html   (613 words)

 Merce Cunningham gives rare public lecture   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-08)
Cunningham's lecture and his company's performances March 30 and 31 at the Center for Theatre Arts were presented by the Cornell Department of Theatre, Film and Dance, as part of the dance program's celebration of 20th century dance.
Cunningham discussed his utilization of video and computers in his choreography, identifying repetition as an example of a choreographic device that does not transfer well to video.
Cunningham and Vaughn also shared stories from the company's history and discussed ways in which Cunningham has manipulated his choreography to accommodate unusual performance spaces, ranging from Grand Central Station to a museum in Vienna.
www.news.cornell.edu /Chronicle/99/4.8.99/Merce_lecture.html   (480 words)

 Merce Cunningham Biography | Encyclopedia of World Biography
The American Merce Cunningham (born 1919) was a solo dancer of commanding presence, a controversial choreographer, an influential teacher, and an organizer of an internationally acclaimed avant-garde dance company.
Cunningham experimented with Cage and others of futuristic thought from fields of dance, music, theater, visual arts, and even the technical sciences in combining abstract dance elements with musique concrète, electronic music, random sounds, lighting effects, action films or photo slides superimposed upon or backlighting stage action, pure noise, and even silence.
Cunningham's awards include honorary member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters (1984), the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award for lifetime contributions to dance (1982), the MacArthur Award (1985), the Laurence Olivier Award (1985), the National Medal of Arts (1990) and the Digital Dance Premier Award (1990).
www.bookrags.com /biography/merce-cunningham   (488 words)

Cunningham's very early pieces, the 1953 ''Septet.'' Set to music by Erik Satie, the work has not been performed since 1964: the performance had the effect of a virtual premiere and was received as such.
Cunningham choreographed along traditional lines before he embarked upon the regular use of chance procedures as a compositional device.
Cunningham was organizing stage space without a central focus and creating an off-center look to the body that made it look interestingly askew.
query.nytimes.com /gst/fullpage.html?res=9B0DEFD9143CF93BA35750C0A961948260&pagewanted=print   (644 words)

 glbtq >> arts >> Cunningham, Merce
Cunningham was born on April 16, 1919 in Centralia, Washington, the second of three sons of a successful attorney and his wife.
In Cunningham's work, each dancer is considered the center of the space he or she occupies; wherever the dancer faces is "front." Together, Cunningham and Cage developed an aesthetic based on democracy of space and form in which all elements are considered equal in value.
In the 1990s, Cunningham began working with a complex computer program called Life Forms, which provides new methods for generating movements to be performed by dancers and which also allows for the creation of images to be used as projections in live performances.
www.glbtq.com /arts/cunningham_merce.html   (1119 words)

 Ballet-Dance Magazine: Merce Cunningham and Music
David Tudor was associated with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company from its inception, in 1953, until his death in 1996.
Merce Cunningham was the first choreographer to use the music of Conlon Nancarrow (Crises, 1960).
The Merce Cunningham Dance Company has commissioned music from more contemporary composers than any other performing arts organization, affording them the freedom to write according to their own wishes and the rare opportunity to hear their music performed live, frequently and before a large audience.
www.ballet-dance.com /200403/articles/cunningham-music.html   (518 words)

 Press Release
Cunningham is internationally recognized and honored as a choreographer of originality and genius.
Merce Cunningham, born in 1919 in Centralia, Washington, studied tap and ballroom dancing locally before enrolling in the Cornish School in Seattle where he studied with Bonnie Bird, a former Graham dancer, and where he met John Cage, a young composer hired as a dance accompanist.
Cunningham became the second man invited to join Martha Graham's company, and he danced with her from 1939 to 1945.
www.nypl.org /press/2000/merce.cfm   (1411 words)

 Margaret Jones - Merce Cunningham: Choreographer Made for the Air
Martha Graham once said of Cunningham, “Merce was made for the air.” One can well imagine the spry, airborne Cunningham of an earlier time, which is still suggested by his tall, erect bearing and alert countenance.
Cunningham has always thrived in the company of other artists, at the same time maintaining that dance is an independent art form that can stand on its own, apart from either music or visual effects.
This philosophy has made it possible for Cunningham, as he approaches his seventh decade, to appear in his own dances without looking out of place, without looking like an older dancer pretending for the sake of the limelight to be younger.
www.margaretjones.com /work3.htm   (1696 words)

 arborweb reviews - review: Merce Cunningham
For the last twenty months, Merce Cunningham has been everywhere — in the media and on the road — celebrating his company's phenomenal fifty years of performing, touring, and generally confounding dance audiences all over the world.
Cunningham is often touted as the Balanchine of modern dance, and as facile as such a comparison is, it proves a useful shorthand for Cunningham's deconstructed classicism and wholesale reconsideration of how the body moves in time and space.
For Cunningham and his lifelong collaborator, the late composer John Cage, there is no relation between sound (or, for that matter, lighting, decor, or costume) and the steps.
www.arborweb.com /reviews/0403.merce-review.html   (513 words)

 Merce Cunningham - Clare Croft   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-08)
The Cunningham Company’s Washington area premiere of "Split Sides," which includes music by Radiohead, left me feeling that the continued valorization of this notable choreographer is not a case of conventional wisdom’s inertia.
Cunningham’s use of chance forces the audience to consider how we make meaning from art and, for that matter, from life.
Cunningham’s commissioning of two favorite bands of mine, I was not as enthusiastic about either as I had hoped to be.
www.danceviewtimes.com /2004/autumn/01/cunningham.htm   (770 words)

 Kennedy Center: Biographical information for Merce Cunningham
Merce Cunningham gave up a prominent place in the Martha Graham Dance Company in 1945 to produce abstract dances which he composed with the accent on movement itself.
In 1938, Cunningham joined the Lester Horton Dance Theatre, a repertory company in California, and in the following year, while studying at the school of modern dance at Bennington College in Vermont, he was seen by Martha Graham, one of the pioneers of modern dance.
Cunningham was soon performing as a soloist and partner in her dance group.
www.kennedy-center.org /calendar/index.cfm?fuseaction=showIndividual&entitY_id=3715&source_type=A   (606 words)

 Merce Cunningham
Heavily spiced with biographical detail, Merce Cunningham packages the choreographer's life story in a lovely design that respects his whole body and conveys a rare sense of movement in its mass of still photos.
It is impossible to remain indifferent to Merce Cunningham.
Cunningham's choreography has no story, theme or subject and is rarely supported by music, so his style is not for everyone as all those who sneaked off in the first interval at the Palais Garnier discovered...
www.queertheory.com /histories/c/cunningham_merce.htm   (892 words)

 Les Arts Sauts and Merce Cunningham   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-08)
Another kind of alternative universe was proposed in the new dance BIPED by choreographer Merce Cunningham and his high-tech collaborators: Shelley Eshkar and Paul Kaiser (animation), Suzanne Gallo (costumes), Aaron Copp (lighting), and Gavin Bryars (music).
Cunningham always says he lets his collaborators go their own way, so that accidental relationships between independently created elements can enliven each performance.
Cunningham's dances don't have narrative structures or conventionally arched movement phrases that leave shapes in your memory.
www.bostonphoenix.com /archive/dance/99/07/29/MERCE_CUNNINGHAM.html   (1538 words)

 Online NewsHour: A Life of Art -- August 24, 1999
Merce Cunningham's six decades of dance have been filled with innovation and experimentation.
ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: Cunningham was born in Centralia, Washington in 1919, the son of a lawyer and homemaker, neither with any connection to theater.
MERCE CUNNINGHAM: So that's the kind of philosophy all right, but it's also a marvelous way for me to work, because it is a way of getting at something in a way that I might not think of.
www.pbs.org /newshour/bb/entertainment/july-dec99/merce_8-24.html   (1983 words)

 Amazon.de: Merce Cunningham: Dancing in Space and Time: English Books: Richard Kostelanetz   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-08)
Cunningham presented his first dance performance in 1942 and in subsequent years established himself as one of the most important and influential figures in modern dance.
Merce Cunningham gathers together the most important writings by and about the choreographer, including three classic essays by Cunningham, as well as articles and reviews by Cage; dancers Remy Charlip, Violet Farber, and Carolyn Brown; company archivist David Vaughan; and leading critics Arlene Croce, Jack Anderson, Marcia Siegel, and Edwin Denby.
Tracing the development of Cunningham's career from 1944 to 1992, this valuable anthology showcases the tremendous and ever-evolving means of expression that this revolutionary choreographer created.
www.amazon.de /Merce-Cunningham-Dancing-Space-Time/dp/0306808773   (485 words)

 Presidential Lectures: Merce Cunningham
In the summers of 1948, 1952, and 1953, Cunningham and Cage were invited to teach and present their work at Black Mountain College.  Located near Ashville, North Carolina, it was an experimental liberal arts institution that attracted some of that period’s most innovative and creative minds, working in a variety of disciplines.
But perhaps the most striking of Cunningham’s adoptions of new techniques is his use of chance and indeterminacy.  In a recent interview, he notes that in the 1950s, the Institute of Random Numbers had declared random numbers to be as useful as logic.
It is interesting to note that critical response in the U.S. to Cunningham’s work in the 1950s was not usually positive.  The few writers who published reviews typically complained of the disagreeable sounds emitted by electronic scores and the dancers’ moving about on stage in no relationship to one another or to the audience.
prelectur.stanford.edu /lecturers/cunningham   (1151 words)

 KQED Arts: Profile - Merce Cunningham
During the early 1940s, Cunningham performed with the legendary Martha Graham, originating roles in works like "Appalachian Spring" and "El Penitente." Though he was heavily influenced by the Graham technique of dancing, Cunningham's own choreography broke away from her mythological, story-based ballets and moved toward a more conceptual approach to dance.
Like Cunningham himself, his dancers are often ballet-trained, but their extraordinary physical awareness allows them to tune in to movement with an analytical sensitivity.
Cunningham's love of technology has also led him to experiment with an imaging software program called DanceForms, which he uses to create many of his works, but which also allows for an anatomical study of the possible motion of the body.
www.kqed.org /spark/artists-orgs/mercecunni.jsp   (481 words)

 Encounter:Merce (via CobWeb/3.1 planetlab2.tamu.edu)   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-08)
Merce Cunningham, an icon of modern dance, first rose to prominence as a dancer in Martha Graham’s company.
Propelled by a strong belief in collaboration as well as new ideas about the nature of dance, Cunningham, alongside his creative partner, John Cage, was instrumental in the evolution of the “happening”—the merging of independently created artistic efforts into a single creative event.
Cunningham’s collaborative approach and fascination with chance procedures and new technologies have led to some of the most powerful partnerships the stage has seen.
encountermerce.stanford.edu.cob-web.org:8888   (250 words)

 Merce Cunningham Dance Company's EVENT at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival
Merce Cunningham Dance Company bring their work EVENT to a packed house at Jacob's Pillow this week.
In the program notes, ably written by Suzanne Carbonneau, Merce Cunningham's distinguished career as the pioneer of contemporary dance is nicely documented, and some of his artistic intent is clearly described.
Whether one appreciates the work of Merce Cunningham or not, the fact remains that he is the father - or grandfather - of contemporary dance, and at the age of 84 continues to create brilliant, challenging work that demands notice.
www.newberkshire.com /reviews/03/jp-mc.html   (720 words)

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