Friday, February 18, 2011

Merce Cunningham's Michigan swan song

Pictured above is a piece of art from patricio villaroel's flickr collection, a tribute to the dancer and choreographer upon his death on July 26, 2009. The art is inspired by an iconic photograph taken of Merce Cunningham performing in Changeling in 1956.

This weekend, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company will perform its final shows in Michigan at the Power Center tonight and tomorrow at 8 PM, part of its legacy tour that will culminate on New Year's Eve in New York.

We'll get our final taste of this great choreographer now. The Detroit News describes the pieces we'll see this weekend:
"Squaregame," from 1976, features a stage floor centered with a white square bordered by Astroturf. The dancers toss and roll duffle bags about using movement that's "mysterious and quirky," says Robert Swinston, Cunningham's assistant director, who re-staged the piece from the company archives.

"Split Sides," from 2003, will be performed using what Cunningham called "chance procedures," Swinston says. A die will be rolled in front of the audience and the result will determine which half of the dance goes first and which score, costumes and lighting will be used.

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