Merce Cunningham Trust

Squaregame Video 1976

DANCES Squaregame
LENGTH 25 minutes
DIRECTOR Charles Atlas
PRODUCER Cunningham Dance Foundation
DISTRIBUTOR Electronic Arts Intermix
MUSIC S.E. Wave/E.W. Wave Song, Takehisa Kosugi
MUSICIANS Takehisa Kosugi
DANCERS Karole Armitage, Karen Attix, Ellen Cornfield, Merce Cunningham, Morgan Ensminger, Meg Harper, Susana Hayman-Chaffey, Catherine Kerr, Chris Komar, Robert Kovich, Raymond Kurshals, Julie Roess-Smith
This is a film of a playful dance in which packed duffle bags are thrown back and forth between dancers and used to create the decor of the piece. Filmed at the Merce Cunningham Studio, Westbeth. As its title suggests, this playful piece is much like a game. "Squaregame" was first performed on a surface resembling an athletic court, and its participants were invited to stop and watch one another, as if they were on the sidelines at a sporting event. A recurring theme in the ballet was that of people hanging on to others and being carried or dragged along by them. This can be seen several times throughout the dance, as in when one of the male dancers lunged from side to side, doing a series of contractions, with a female dancer hanging on to his waist. The set design by Mark Lancaster consisted of a white floor cloth surrounded by bands of green Astroturf, and the costumes were practice clothes, with the dancers dressed in sweatpants and ankle socks.