A very bittersweet article in the NY Times this past Sunday about the closing of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company after this final tour makes you marvel at the mercurial nature of dance and choreography. Where does the dance go once the dancer is gone? Who is to know exactly how the steps should be set? Who keeps the flame alive so to speak? “No company with a singular choreographer has fully solved the riddle of how to preserve its dances once their creator has died….The loss of that technique (Mr. Cunningham’s), which is part of modern dance’s bedrock, would have far-reaching implications for the art form.” (NY TIMES)
Merce Cunningham was a leader of the American avant-garde througout his seventy-year career and is considered one of the most important choreographers of our time. Since he passed away in 2009, the fate of his company has been up in the air. With the announcement of it’s closing, the company must deal with many, many issues, financial and emotional for it’s dancers.
Where does a dancer go who has spent years training in a certain style, under a certain master like Merce? Where does a Merce dancer go? It’s like all of a sudden you are a baseball player and all the baseball stadiums close. Of course, there will always be revivals of Merce Cunningham’s amazing work. Click here to watch Mondays With Merce an amazing series of documentary shorts about Merce Cunningham’s phenomenal legacy.
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