Merce Cunningham Trust

New York Theater Ballet
Cross Currents
 
New York Live Arts
219 West 19th Street
New York, NY 10011
February 18 - 21, 2015
 
New York Theater Ballet will perform Merce Cunningham's trio Cross Currents, reconstructed by Jennifer Goggans (MCDC 2000 - 2011), to an arrangement by John Cage of Conlon Nancarrow's Rhythm Studies for Player Piano. Performances: Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at 7:30pm, and Saturday at 2:00pm and 7:30pm. Tickets are available online here, or at the Live Arts Box Office (212-691-6500).
 

Merce Cunningham and Viola Farber in Cross Currents
Photo by Douglas H. Jeffery (1964) Sadler's Wells Theatre
 
about Cross Currents
 
Premiere: July 31, 1964, Sadler's Wells Theatre, London, UK
Music: Conlon Nancarrow, Rhythm Studies for Player Piano
Costumes: Merce Cunningham
Dancers: Merce Cunningham, Carolyn Brown and Viola Farber
 
"In Cunningham's work music is not the basis of movement but a fully independent activity. George Balanchine, a genius of another sort, has called music the floor a dancer walks on. It is precisely that foundation which Cunningham has removed. The rhythms that support his choregraphy come from the dancers themselves, not from an outside force."    - Dale Harris
 
 
Compagnie CNDC - Angers
EVENT
 
The Joyce Theater
175 Eighth Avenue
New York, NY 10011
March 10 - 15, 2015
 
Compagnie CNDC (Le Centre National de Danse Contemporaine) - Angers (France) will perform a Cunningham EVENT staged by artistic director Robert Swinston (MCDC 1980 - 2011), with music performed by former MCDC Music Committee member John King and singer/songwriter Gelsey Bell. Performances: Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30pm, Thursday and Friday at 8:00pm, Saturday at 2:00pm and 8:00pm, and Sunday at 2:00pm. Tickets are available online here, or at the Joyce Box Office (212-242-0800).
 

MCDC Event #9, Photo by James Klosty (1968)
 
EVENT: Choreography by Merce Cunningham
With a thirty-one year history of dancing for and assisting Merce Cunningham, Robert Swinston, the Artistic Director of this French-based company, makes his U.S. debut at The Joyce with EVENT, a work that Mr. Swinston created from excerpts of Cunningham choreography from 1965 through 1990. EVENT will feature scene design by renowned French artist Jacqueline Matisse and will be performed by eight dancers.
 
Merce Cunningham on Events
"Presented without intermission, Events consist of complete dances, excerpts of dances from the repertory, and often new sequences arranged for particular performance and place, with the possibility of several separate activities happening at the same time - to allow not so much [for] an evening of dances as the experience of dance.... The format [for Events] was originally invented to make possible a performance in a non-theatrical space: the first Event, Museum Event No. 1, was performed in the Museum des 20. Jahrhunderts, Vienna, Austria, in June 1964, to the accompaniment of a continuous performance of Atlas Eclipticalis by John Cage."
 
Since that time, MCDC performed more than 800 Events before its closure. MCDC's final performances were the Park Avenue Armory EVENT in New York City, in December 2011. That Event was staged by Robert Swinston.
 
 
Juilliard Dances Repertory
BIPED
 
Peter Jay Sharp Theater
155 West 65th Street
New York, NY 10023
March 25 - 28, 2015
 
Juilliard Dances Repertory will perform Merce Cunningham's BIPED (1999), reconstructed by Jean Freebury (MCDC 1992 - 2003) and Jennifer Goggans (MCDC 2000 - 2011). The Juilliard Music Ensemble will perform Gavin Bryars' original composition Biped. Performances: Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at 8:00pm, and Saturday at 2:00pm and 8:00pm. Tickets will be available online a month prior to the performances here, or at the Janet and Leonard Kramer Box Office (212-769-7406).
 

Holley Farmer and Lisa Boudreau in BIPED, Photo by Stephanie Berger (1999)
 
about BIPED
 
Premiere: April 13, 1999, Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley, CA
Music: Gavin Bryars, Biped
Projected Artwork: Shelley Eshkar and Paul Kaiser
Costumes: Suzanne Gallo
Lighting Design: Aaron Copp
Dancers: Lisa Boudreau, Thomas Caley, Holley Farmer, Maydelle Fason, Jean Freebury, David Kulick, Matthew Mohr, Banu Ogan, Glen Rumsey, Daniel Squire, Jeannie Steele, Derry Swan, Robert Swinston, Cheryl Therrien.
 
BIPED is a technically intricate work involving projected artwork by Shelley Eshkar and Paul Kaiser derived from a unique motion capture process devised in collaboration with the choreographer.
 
"The dance gives me the feeling of switching channels on the TV... The action varies from slow formal sections to rapid broken-up sequences where it is difficult to see all the complexity."    -Merce Cunningham
 
 
Stephen Petronio Company
RainForest
 
The Joyce Theater
175 Eighth Avenue
New York, NY 10011
April 7 - 12, 2015
 
The Stephen Petronio Company will perform Merce Cunningham's RainForest (1968) reconstructed by Andrea Weber (MCDC 2004 - 2011), Meg Harper (MCDC 1968 - 1977), and Rashaun Mitchell (MCDC 2004 - 2011) with David Tudor's original score Rainforest realized by John Driscoll and Composers Inside Electronics. Performances: Tuesday and Wendesday at 7:30pm, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8:00pm and Sunday at 2:00pm and 8:00pm. Tickets are available online here, or at the Joyce Box Office (212-242-0800).
 
Merce Cunningham and Meg Harper in RainForest
Photo by James Klosty (1968)
 
about RainForest
 
Premiere: March 8, 1968, State University College, Buffalo, NY
Music: David Tudor, Rainforest
Decor: Andy Warhol, Silver Clouds
Dancers: Merce Cunningham, Carolyn Brown, Barbara Lloyd, Sandra Neels, Albert Reid and Gus Solomons Jr.
 
The title for RainForest came from Cunningham's childhood memories of the Northwest and the rainforest in the Olympic Peninsula. RainForest differed from Cunningham's other pieces in that, with the exception of Cunningham, each of the six dancers performed his or her role, then left the stage and never returned. Andy Warhol agreed to let Cunningham use his installation Silver Clouds, a number of Mylar pillows filled with helium so that they floated freely in the air. The dancers wore flesh-colored leotards and tights, which Jasper Johns (uncredited) cut with a razor blade, to give the costumes a roughened appearance. The music was by David Tudor, and evoked the chirping and chattering of birds and animals.
 
 
92nd Street Y
Doubles
 
92nd Street Y, Fridays at Noon
Buttenwieser Hall
Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street
May 15, 2015
12:00pm
 
Staged by Patricia Lent (MCDC 1984 - 1993), excerpts from Doubles (1984) will be performed by dancers from the MCT Fellowship Program. Alastair Macaulay, chief dance critic for The New York Times, and Ms. Lent will be joined by other former MCDC dancers to provide insight into the making and performing of the dance. Tickets are avilable online here, or at the 92nd Street Y Box Office (212-415-5000).
 

MCDC in Doubles, Photo by Jay Anderson (1984)
 
about Doubles
 
Premiere: June 27, 1984, American Dance Festival, Durham, NC
Music: Takehisa Kosugi, Spacings
Decor: Mark Lancaster
Costumes: Mark Lancaster
Dancers: Helen Barrow, Louise Burns, Lise Friedman, Alan Good, Neil Greenberg, Catherine Kerr, Chris Komar, Joseph Lennon, Patricia Lent, Susan Quinn, Karen Radford, Rob Remley, Robert Swinston, Megan Walker
 
Performed by two casts of seven dancers, Doubles consists of solos with duets and trios superimposed upon them so that two things are always happening simultaneously. The duality of the choreography, and the fact that two casts are employed to perform the piece, are what gave this work its title. Takehisa Kosugi composed the music by using custom-made light-sensitive oscillators and electronics, varying the sounds by fluctuating the amount of light shone on the oscillators at any given time. Costume design and decor, which were brightly colored leotards and sweatpants and a purple backcloth respectively, were by Mark Lancaster.