Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France, 1972 2012. During 2012, the Trust set up a headquarters within the City Center in NYC. In 2009, the Cunningham Dance Foundation announced the Legacy Plan, a precedent-setting plan for the continuation of Cunningham's work and the celebration and preservation of his artistic legacy.. Julie Cunningham is an award-winning dance artist, formerly with Merce Cunningham Dance Company and Michael Clark Company and performing in projects with Jerome Bel and Boris Charmatz. Lighting: Josh Johnson, Nearly Ninety (2009) In his performances, he often used the I Ching to determine the sequence of his dances and, often, dancers were not informed of the order until the night of the performance. The Trust exists to ensure that this work is preserved, enhanced and maintained, and that the public has access to it. After high school he attended the Cornish School of Fine and Applied Arts in Seattle, Washington, for two years. , Merce Cunningham was born in Centralia, Washington in 1919, the second of three sons. One of this first works was called “Root of an Unfocus”. The Merce Cunningham Dance Company was founded in 1953 and disbanded in 2011 after Merce’s death. After moving to New York City, he spent six years performing with the Martha Graham Dance Company. Merce Cunningham, Director: Variations V. Merce Cunningham was born on April 16, 1919 in Centralia, Washington, USA as Mercier Philip Cunningham. In addition to his role as choreographer, Cunningham performed as a dancer in his company into the early 1990s. As well, he pursued the concept of pure motion, removed from emotion. Alexander Street Press. From 1971 until its dissolution in 2012, the company was based in the Westbeth Artists Community in West Village; for a time Cunningham himself lived a block away at 107 Bank Street, with John Cage. He began to choreograph dances while attending the Cornish School of Fine Art. He died on July 26, 2009 in New York City, New York, USA. This is why he danced. The major exhibition Invention: Merce Cunningham & Collaborators at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts closed on October 13, 2007. MCDC commissioned more work from contemporary composers than any other dance company.  He attended the Cornish School in Seattle, headed by Nellie Cornish, from 1937 to 1939 to study acting, but found drama's reliance on text and miming too limiting and concrete. Reviewed by Rose Anne Thom. Officier of the Légion d'Honneur, France, 2003 The Merce Cunningham Dance Company amplified the solos performed by Baryshnikov with material from events, excerpts from the repertory. The iconic Merce Cunningham and the last generation of his dance company is stunningly profiled in Alla Kovgan's 3D documentary, through recreations of his landmark works and archival footage of Cunningham, John Cage, and Robert Rauschenberg. He became a soloist at her company and created a series of notable roles. Dance in Video: Volume II. Airs on American Masters, 9:00 p.m. Sunday, December 16, 2001, on PBS affiliates (check local listings). Contact us Stay Connected Keep updated with the latest news by following us and staying connected on social media. Throughout his career, Cunningham choreographed more than 200 dances and over 800 "Events," or site-specific choreographic works. Music: John Cage, Music for Piano Nellie Cornish Arts Achievement Award from his alma mater, Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle WA, 1995 Video of Roaratorio, by John Cage, and Sounddance, by David Tudor, as choreographed by Merce Cunningham for his dance company. During a seven-decade career, Cunningham was a dancer, avant-garde choreographer, film producer, multimedia artist, and teacher. This included exiting and entering at will, executing it in any order and as many times as desired. Lighting: Brian MacDevitt The key to the City of Montpellier, France, 1998 Bredow, Moritz von. Video Design: Franc Aleu, 2009 Cédric Andrieux, director of dance at the Conservatory, and former dancer of Merce Cunningham Dance Company, decided to bring together the one hundred and twenty students in the Conservatory's percussion class for this giant event proposed at La Villette in November 2019, the framework of the Autumn Festival in Paris. In 1963 he joined with Cage to create the Walker Art Center's first performance, instigating what would be a 25-year collaborative relationship with the Walker. Edward MacDowell Medal in interdisciplinary art, the MacDowell Colony, Peterborough NH, 2002 The final meeting of the Board of Directors for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company was held March 15, 2012, in Cunningham's studio at the top of the Westbeth building in the West Village.. And there’s another twist: No former members of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company — it was disbanded in 2011, two years after the choreographer’s death — … The Merce Cunningham Dance Company returns to New York City—its home since its founding in 1953—for six historic final performances at the Armory, culminating a two-year farewell Legacy Tour that brought the Company to more than 50 destinations worldwide. Danced for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company (1984-1993), and White Oak Dance Project (1994-1996). Golden Lion of the Venice Biennale, Italy, 1993 Following two years of formal training and work with the dance company of Martha Graham, Cunningham started his own company in 1953 to experiment with concepts in modern dance. Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, National Museum of Dance's Mr & Mrs Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney Hall of Fame, "Cunningham, Merce (1919-2009), Choreographer", "John Cage, with Merce Cunningham, revolutionised music, too", "Entertainment | Arts & Culture | Dance great Cunningham dies at 90", "aryshnikov's Artistry, Behind the Camera", "Merce Cunningham Dance Company at Park Avenue Armory", "Sonic Youth, John Paul Jones Give Merce Cunningham's Dance Show a Fierce Soundtrack", "When Merce Cunningham Took On a New Collaborator: The Computer", http://www.mercecunningham.org/film-media/mondays-with-merce/, Merce Cunningham Sets Plan for His Dance Legacy, "Merce Cunningham Dance Company – Biography", Archival footage of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company performing in, Archive footage of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company performing Cunningham's piece Banjo in 1955 at Jacob's Pillow, Merce Cunningham ìn the Mediateca Media Art Space, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Merce_Cunningham&oldid=995331596, United States National Medal of Arts recipients, Wikipedia articles with CANTIC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz identifiers, Wikipedia articles with RKDartists identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SELIBR identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. As part of these celebrations, SummerStage will host, Merce Cunningham: SummerCool, an evening of performances guest curated by 92nd Street Y’s Catherine Tharin, featuring the Stephen Petronio Company, which has incorporated several of Cunningham’s radical theater work into its repertoire; Melissa Toogood, a Bessie Award winning, former member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company… While at Bennington, dancing legend, Martha Graham, asked him to join her dance troupe. As a choreographer, teacher, and leader of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Cunningham had a profound influence on modern dance. Cunningham was a bold pioneer who was a visionary. , The use of stage space also changed in Cunningham's choreography. The career of Merce Cunningham (born 1919 in Centralia, Washington; died 2009 in New York City) was notable not only for its major achievement in contemporary dance but also for its many strong collaborations with major artists, designers and composers. Merce also attended Mills College during 1938 and went to Bennington College the next year. He was notable for frequent collaboration with artists of other disciplines, including musicians John Cage, David Tudor, Brian Eno, and graphic artists Robert Rauschenberg, Bruce Nauman, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Frank Stella, and Jasper Johns; and fashion designer Rei Kawakubo. Well, I took this also for dance. Each movement was assigned a playing card and chosen randomly. He created an original work for the video Westbeth (1974) in collaboration with filmmaker Charles Atlas The computer program later became DanceForms and uses avatars of dancers with color-coded limbs as a platform for choreography. Costumes: Jasper Johns (uncredited) During the mid-1980s, he was given a MacArthur Fellowship and also received honors from the Kennedy Center. Dance and Performance Award for Best Performance by a Visiting Artist, London, England In 1943, Martha Graham’s interest in his choreography motivated Cunningham to create more dance pieces. In the use of chance procedures, Cunningham abandoned the more traditional structured form of dance. He was born in April of 1919 and passed away during the summer of 2009. His avant-garde dance performances and innovative choreography earned him plenty of fans and lots of critical acclaim. Robert Swinston was named a Trustee of the Merce Cunningham Trust in 2009, and joined the Trust’s staff as Director of Choreography in 2012, following thirty-one years with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. He utilized a mixture of formal training, raw talent, hard work and collaboration in order to create and/or perform dance pieces that gave audiences pleasure, as well as food for thought. A major exhibition about Cunningham and his collaborations, curated by Germano Celant, was first seen at the Fundació Antoni Tàpies in Barcelona in 1999, and subsequently at the Fundação de Serralves, Porto, Portugal, 1999; the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna, 2000; and the Museo d'Arte Contemporanea, Castello di Rivoli, Turin, 2000. Cédric Andrieux, director of dance at the Conservatory, and former dancer of Merce Cunningham Dance Company, decided to bring together the one hundred and twenty students in the Conservatory's percussion class for this giant event proposed at La Villette in November 2019, the framework of the Autumn Festival in Paris. The official establishment of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company took place at Black Mountain College in August 1953. Music: John Paul Jones, Takehisa Kosugi, Sonic Youth What’s wonderful about the Trust is that it licenses his work, so that it may be performed by modern dance groups today. Cunningham created over 180 dances, many of which are in the repertories of ballet and modern dance companies worldwide. The "front and centre" spot traditionally coveted by soloists no longer exists in his works. He was a director and writer, known for Variations V (1966), Deli Commedia (1984) and Merce Cunningham (1998). This led to a live dance for the stage, BIPED, for which Kaiser and Eshkar provided the projected decor. Medal of Honor from the Universidad Complutense of Madrid, Spain Fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, New York NY. He frequently used cards, dice and the I Ching (an ancient Chinese text, also known as The Book of Changes ) to decide compositional elements like body part, direction and number of dancers. He took tap class from a local teacher, Mrs Maude Barrett, whose energy and spirit taught him to love dance. Décor: Henry Samelson, Blues Arrive Not Anticipating What Transpires Even Between Themselves MacNeil-Lehrer Productions, 1999. Costumes: Daniel Arsham Composite image of Merce Cunningham pieces: (interior) Merce Cunningham Dance Company performing Anniversary Event during the exhibition of Olafur Eliasson’s The Weather Project at Tate Modern in London, November 2003; a screen shot of Décor for Scramble (1967) on Event for Television, 1977. Works that he produced with these artists had a profound impact on avant-garde art beyond the world of dance. He frequently used cards, dice and the I Ching (an ancient Chinese text, also known as The Book of Changes ) to decide compositional elements like body part, direction and number of dancers. , Suite for Five (1956–1958) In 1964, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company embarked on a six-month world tour that catapulted the company to world fame and renown, while at the same time creating internal tensions. 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