Merce Cunningham Trust

Exchange 1977


DANCES Exchange
LENGTH 40 minutes
DIRECTOR Charles Atlas
DESIGNERS Jasper Johns
PRODUCER Cunningham Dance Foundation
DISTRIBUTOR Electronic Arts Intermix
VIDEO SAMPLE Click Here
COLOR/BW Color
MUSIC Weatherings, David Tudor
DANCERS Karole Armitage, Louise Burns, Ellen Cornfield, Merce Cunningham, Meg Eginton, Susan Emery, Lisa Fox, Lise Friedman, Alan Good, Catherine Kerr, Chris Komar, Robert Kovich, Joseph Lennon, Rob Remley, Jim Self
Divided into three parts, "Exchange" began with half of the company in the first part, the other half in the second, and the entire company closing out the third. When asked about his inspiration for this piece, Cunningham said, “I’ve often been struck by the idea of recurrence, ideas, movements, inflections coming back in different guises, never the same; it’s always a new space and a changed moment in time. So I decided to use it in "Exchange.” Cunningham used chance operations to create the order of movements for each section, and again to decide what movements would reoccur in the second and third sections. Whenever a series of movements were repeated, they would occur in a different context, in a different space and time, with different dancers. Unlike several of Cunningham’s outdoor, nature pieces, Exchange had an urban milieu. The décor and costumes were by Jasper Johns, featuring gritty grays, draping the stage in colors of soot and grime. Filmed by Charles Atlas. Berkeley, California Zellerbach Hall. First public screening, February 7, 2013 at Electronic Arts Intermix, NYC