Join us for this day of performances, films, exhibitions, activities, and more in celebration of the life, work, and artistic vision of Merce Cunningham.
Before Merce Cunningham, dance was a world bedecked with music and narrative, encased in sets and costumes. In a seventy-year career of incomparable importance, Cunningham tore those intricacies down and forever redefined his art form, rebuilding it on its most essential foundation: the near-limitless possibilites of movement.
Filling the entire complex of Frederick P. Rose Hall, this three-part day invites you to explore Cunningham’s lifetime of artistic achievements. In the morning, sit in on a company class and participate in family-friendly activities. In the afternoon and evening, enjoy performances by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, including Cunningham’s masterful Squaregame (1976) and Duets (1980). Learn his Field Dances (1963) with a member of the repertory company. Walk among the floating Mylar balloons of Andy Warhol’s Silver Clouds, used as décor for RainForest (1968). Pick up one of the iPods loaded with the music that most influenced Merce and listen as you explore multiple events happening simultaneously. There’s much more, including a special recording booth, where people may record their own impressions of Merce’s work and his legacy.
Now, two years after Cunningham’s death, we are proud to partner with the company a fifth and final time during their Legacy Tour to give New York City this all-day celebration of the man who gave so much to dance.
Selections from the Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation Collection and John Cage Manuscript Collection are on view in the Archive Room courtesy of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.