Since our last newsletter, there have been multiple opportunities to see Cunningham work. In Hagen (Germany), Daniel Squire (MCDC 1998-2009) staged Rune, a 1959 work that has not been seen on stage for fifteen years. The production has garnered prominent reviews in leading German papers such as Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. In Chicago, Paige Cunningham Caldarella (MCDC 2000-2004) restaged Suite for Five at Zephyr Dance Company as part of a program that included five original dances created in response. In Sydney (Australia), Daniel Madoff's (MCDC 2007-2011) film August Pace: 19189-2019 was a finalist for the Best Documentary Dance Film award at the Inspired Dance Film Festival. And New York Theatre Ballet offered several in a series of ongoing opportunities to see Scramble, staged by Trust Program Director Jennifer Goggans (MCDC 2000-2011), (MCDC 2009-2011).
There were also opportunities to see individual dancers performing Cunningham solos as part of the Trust's incentivized licensing program. Tamisha Guy (A.I.M. by Kyle Abraham) performed a solo from Signals—originally danced by Susana Hayman-Chaffey (MCDC 1968-1976)--at the COCO Dance Festival in Trinidad .Jean Freebury (MCDC 1992-2003) staged this special revival. At the Foundation for Contemporary Arts' 60th Anniversary Gala, Jacquelin Harris and Chalvar Monteiro (Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater) performed a suite of solos and duets from Landrover, which was arranged and staged by Jamie Scott (MCDC 2009-2011) and first performed as part of the Digital Baryshnikov Arts "In Conversation with Merce" program.
Looking ahead to the spring, the Lyon Opera Ballet will present a full Cunningham program. Now directed by Cédric Andrieux (MCDC 1999-2007), the troupe continues their long history of performing Cunningham repertory with BIPED, staged by Andrea Weber (MCDC 2004-2011) and Jamie Scott (MCDC 2009-2011), and Beach Birds, staged by Carol Teitelbaum (MCDC 1986-1993) with Trust Director of Licensing Patricia Lent (MCDC 1984-1993). The bill premieres on April 16, 2024, Merce Cunningham's birthday, and has dates in several other European cities throughout the spring.
Watch for more information on these new premieres as the dates near!
As we approach Thanksgiving here in the United States, we want to give thanks to the extended Cunningham community from our Cunningham family for your sustained interest in Merce, his artistic associates, and their cultural and aesthetic legacies.
Ken Tabachnick, Executive Director