Merce Cunningham Trust


John Cage's idea for Ocean was that the dance be presented in the center in a circular space with the audience surrounding the dancers and the musicians further surrounding the audience on all sides so that the sound would come from multiple directions, the 112 musicians being separated around the space. There is no conductor. John Cage had discussed the project with Andrew Culver, who had put his ideas into the computer; this led Andrew to believe that the piece could be completed, after John Cage's death in 1992.
Text by Jennifer Goggans
Teacher, Staging & Studio Coordinator
Former Merce Cunningham Dance Company members Jennifer Goggans (MCDC 2000 - 2011) and Daniel Madoff (2007 - 2011), along with musician and composer Arthur Solari, spent three weeks teaching in China at the acclaimed Beijing Dance Academy during late May and June 2014.
Today marks the 50th Anniversary of the first Event which took place at the Museum des 20 Jahrhunderts in Vienna, Austria on June 24, 1964. In this article, Merce Cunningham explains what an Event is and describes the different factors that makes each one unique.
Adapted from text by David Vaughan, Archivist Emeritus MCDC
For two or three years, Cunningham and Cage had been receiving invitations to visit India, from the Sarabhai family, and Japan, from the Sogetsu Art Center, Tokyo. Cage had known Gita Sarabhai for some twenty years; he had taught her about contemporary Western music in exchange for lessons on Indian music. The invitation from the Sogetsu Art Center came about through Toshi Ichiyanagi, whose music Cunningham had used for Story and who sometimes played for classes at the Cunningham Studio. (He was at that time married to Yoko Ono.)
Spring 2014
Enjoy Merce's article from July 20, 1991 on technique.
April 16, 2014
Happy Merce Day!
January 14 - February 22, 2014
The Japan Art Association celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Praemium Imperiale with an exhibition at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. The exhibition, 28 Great Artists at Work: Portraits of the American Praemium Imperiale Laureates, takes a look at the 28 laureates who have lived and worked in the United States. This group includes Leonard Bernstein, Philip Glass, Jasper Johns, I.M. Pei, Arthur Miller, Merce Cunningham, and Richard Serra, among others.
January 2014
The recently rediscovered and newly digitized Merce Cunningham film Assemblage (1968) will be screened at EAI (Electronic Arts Intermix) at their offices, 535 West 22nd Street, 5th Floor, in Manhattan on January 15, at 6:30pm. The film will be introduced by New York Times chief dance critic Alastair Macaulay.
December 16, 2013
As the Merce Cunningham Trust ends its second full year post MCDC, we'd like to share the professional companies around the world that currently have Merce's work in their repertory. The companies are: Rambert Dance Company, Ballet de Lorraine, New York Theatre Ballet, Jerome Bel, Repertory Dance Theater, American Ballet Theatre, Lyon Opera Ballet, Paris Opera, L.A. Dance Project, International Dance Theater Festival, Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Ballet San Jose, Bayerisches Staatsballett, New World Symphony, CNDC Angers, and John Scott Dance.

April 2014


The memorial celebration of Sage Fuller Cowles will be held at the Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts on Saturday, April 5 at 1:30pm. Attendees are invited to join the family at Masons restaurant, connected to the Cowles Center, following the celebration. Details regarding the Cowles Center can be found here.