Merce Cunningham Trust

Tread 1970

LENGTH 20 minutes
DIRECTOR Richard Leacock
PRODUCER Pennebaker/Leacock
MUSIC For 1,2 or 3 people, Christian Wolff
DANCERS Merce Cunningham, Carolyn Brown, Valda Setterfield, Jeff Slayton, Mel Wong, Susana Hayman-Chaffey, Meg Harper, Chase Robinson, Sandra Neels, Douglas Dunn
"Tread", from 1970, is one of Cunningham’s lighter works, described by Patrick O’Connor as a “sometimes hilarious and always good-humored piece” in which “the dancers get into some extraordinarily complicated physical entanglements.” Don McDonagh described a rehearsal as follows: “it begins quietly, with the company seated, and then works up to a humorous set of catches, lifts, and fast exits and entrances which resemble a French bedroom farce. At the finish, the work returns to its original, tranquil state.” Jasper Johns invited Bruce Nauman to design the décor for "Tread", which consists of ten large industrial fans aligned in a row across the front of the stage, alternately stationary and turning from side to side, and blowing out into the audience. Cunningham designed the costumes, and the music is by Christian Wolff.