Abi Sebaly is currently undertaking a major independent research project on the Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s 1964 world tour, initially supported in part by the the Merce Cunningham Trust, the Getty Research Institute, the John Cage Research Grant from the Northwestern University Library, and the Mabel Dodge Luhan House’s writers residency in Taos, New Mexico.
Read her full essay on Aeon here.
In 1997 I had invited Merce Cunningham to collaborate with Shelley Eshkar and me on a project that we had already roughly conceived — a virtual dance installation called Hand-drawn Spaces. The following year, Merce returned the favor by inviting us into his process. Merce had started choreographing a new full-length dance, which he had decided to call BIPED, a name of special significance to us.
Essay by Paul Kaiser
February 19, 2015
MCT Director of Licensing Patricia Lent (MCDC 1984 - 1993) and former Cunningham dancer Jamie Scott (MCDC 2009 - 2011) speak alongside SPSBC director Jennifer Howard and member Ian Palmer on the SPSBC MinEvent as well as Merce's philosophies regarding dance and music.
The Merce Cunningham Trust is delighted to announce the performance of five of Merce Cunningham's works in New York City this spring: Cross Currents (1964) by the New York Theater Ballet, EVENT by Compagnie CNDC - Angers/Robert Swinston, BIPED (1999) by the Juilliard School, RainForest (1968) by the Stephen Petronio Company, and Doubles (1984) by dancers from the MCT Fellowship Program. Don't miss out on these opportunities to see Cunningham choreography in NYC!
January 5, 2015
The Merce Cunningham Trust (MCT), founded to preserve and extend the artistic legacy of the choreographer Merce Cunningham, announces major gifts to two significant arts organizations. The Trust has awarded the Foundation for Contemporary Arts (FCA) $375,000 to establish and endow the Merce Cunningham Award, and the Baryshnikov Art Center (BAC) $250,000 to support the establishment of The John Cage and Merce Cunningham Studio, as well as the creation of a Cage Cunningham Fellowship.
Mode Records new pressing of John Cage's "Variations V," filmed for German TV in 1965 with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, John Cage, David Tudor and Gordon Mumma, and visuals by Stan VanDerBeek and Nam June Paik.
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.
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.)