Merce Cunningham Trust

Septet 1964

LENGTH 18 minutes
DIRECTOR Heikki Seppala
DESIGNERS Remy Charlip
PRODUCER Finnish Broadcasting Company
MUSIC Trois morceaux en forme de poire, Erik Satie
DANCERS Carolyn Brown, Merce Cunningham, William Davies, Anneliese Widman, Viola Farber, Steve Paxton
The title refers to Erik Satie’s seven part score entitled "Trois morceaux en forme de poire." Influenced by the intersection of joy and sorrow, Cunningham focused on the overriding theme of Eros. The piece was choreographed for six dancers, with each of the seven movements ranging from grave to playful, as in the somber lyrical duet with Cunningham and Carolyn Brown, to the comical “solo of a desperate clown”. The ballet was later described by Cage as, “an experience that one is unable to resolve, leaving one, as a dream often does, uncertain of its meaning.” Cunningham chose no scenery, and simple costuming, with each of the three couples dressed in basic, unadorned fitted tops and pants.