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.
MERCE CUNNINGHAM 65 YEARS
Adapted from text by David Vaughan, Archivist Emeritus MCDC
1964 WORLD TOUR
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.)
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.
Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) and the BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) Cinématek series Migrating Forms present Merce Cunningham for Camera. The program highlights Cunningham's choreography for camera, looking specifically at Merce by Merce by Paik (1978, 29min) and Channels/Inserts (1982, 32min). A Q&A will follow the screening with director Charles Atlas among others.
November 4, 2013
The Merce Cunningham: 65 Years application has been updated and is now compatible with iOS 7 for only $4.99. Version 1.1, released on October 17, features quicker rendering, allowing for better access to over 40 dance excerpts, interviews with former company archivist, David Vaughan, over 200 photographs, and more.
For more information on the app or the update, click here.
October 12, 2013 - June 22, 2014
The Museum of Modern Art presents There Will Never Be Silence: Scoring John Cage's 4'33". Two of Merce Cunningham's drawings are on display in the Paul J. Sachs Prints and Illustrated Books Galleries, as part of the exhibit.