Despite no longer working in academia and having been out of school for decades, September still always feels like the beginning of a new year.
This fall, we begin a new relationship with the Mark Morris Dance Center, where we are offering classes in Brooklyn for the first time. These classes are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and continue to be open to all students--including those who already attend classes at Mark Morris. Despite the differences in their work, there is a great affinity between the Merce's legacy and the Center, with Mark Morris being a big fan of Merce Cunningham and his work. As Mark said recently:
"Merce Cunningham was a brilliant choreographer, a friend, and one of the greatest artists America has ever produced. I was thrilled by his work since I first fell for it in the 1980's. So I am delighted to support his legacy through this partnership, and to welcome the Trust's faculty to teach Cunningham Technique here in Brooklyn at the Mark Morris Dance Center."
The Center was also the site of a terrific showing of the recent Doubletoss Fellowship workshop, which was staged by former MCDC dancer Jean Freebury with Patricia Lent. The workshop (both showings) took place before a full house. Dramatically accompanied by intermittent torrential rain pounding on the studio roof, the dancers evoked an amazing energy and sense of community in bringing this work to life. While reconstructions never look exactly like the original, we are constantly heartened and pleased to see a new generation of dancers exploring Merce's work and breathing life into it. We are confident he would have enjoyed the level of commitment and execution the dancers brought to his genius.
This month, there are a couple of other Cunningham related activities we are watching and looking forward to. Also in Brooklyn, Cunningham's longtime collaborator Charles Atlas opens his newest exhibition, The Mathematics of Consciousness, at Pioneer Works in Red Hook, which includes some footage of Cunningham and his company. In Paris, former MCDC dancer Ashley Chen, with Cheryl Therrien (also a former MCDC dancer) and Anna Chirescu (a former dancer with Robert Swinston's CNDC Company) has assembled an Event that will take place in and around the Anni and Josef Albers exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris. Cheryl, a professor at the National Conservatory of Music and Dance in Paris where former MCDC dancer Cédric Andrieux is the Dance program director, will also lead an open warm-up for the public. This Event includes a rare opportunity to see Merce's Dime a Dance and is not to be missed.
As the summer days of heat turn into the refreshing fall days, we look forward to seeing Cunningham related activities wherever they are. Hopefully, we will see you at some of them as well.