Merce Cunningham Trust

Merce Cunningham: 65 Years

by David Vaughan

Edited by Melissa Harris, Aperture Foundation and Trevor Carlson, Cunningham Dance Foundation Afterword by Bonnie Brooks

The extraordinary application for the iPad, Merce Cunningham: 65 Years, new in August and pictorially sensational, is a breakthrough achievement of combining visual and written history.” --Alastair Macaulay New York Times, December 14, 2012

This free dynamic multimedia iPad app, now also available as a web app for all modern browsers, celebrates Merce Cunningham’s unique legacy. An innovative primary resource, Merce Cunningham: 65 Years offers a vibrant and experiential account of the late choreographer, dancer, and artist’s life and work, while reflecting Cunningham’s own interest in engaging with technology—a principal motivation for creating the interactive app.

The Aperture Foundation, in collaboration with the Merce Cunningham Trust, have created an engaging project with over forty excerpts from Cunningham’s dances (most including sound), interviews with Merce Cunningham Dance Company archivist David Vaughan, and passages from the riveting web series Mondays with Merce, as well as additional images from the last fifteen years of Cunningham’s life, and from the Legacy Tour which ended December 31, 2011. Merce Cunningham: 65 Years is more of Merce Cunningham and his extraordinary work, than simply about him.

This additional multimedia joins forces with set and costume designs, musical scores, choreographic notes, selected drawings and journal entries by Cunningham, over 200 photographs, all the essays he is known to have written, and more.

The app evolved out of the original print publication, Merce Cunningham: Fifty Years (Aperture, 1997), with writing by David Vaughan, who worked for the company for over fifty], and created in collaboration with Cunningham. Merce Cunningham: 65 Years, an expanded, multimedia, digital edition, picks up in 1995 and continues the chronicling of his life and work until his death in 2009, and then through the subsequent two-year Legacy Tour.

Merce Cunningham: 65 Years was made possible with major support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and additional support from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.