Merce Cunningham Trust

Signals 1970

PREMIERE DATE June 05, 1970
PREMIERE VENUE Théâtre de France
LOCATION Paris, France
MUSIC John Cage David Tudor, Gordon Mumma First Week of June
COSTUMES Merce Cunningham
DURATION 20 minutes
ORGINAL CAST Louise Burns, Merce Cunningham, Douglas Dunn, Susana Hayman-Chaffey, Valda Setterfield, Mel Wong
Signals was titled after Cunningham’s choreography for the piece, which consisted of various cues from dancer to dancer, indicating the next series of movements. Chairs were used as stage props, with several of the movements determined by the direction a particular chair was facing. The types of cues varied by performance, resulting in each show having its own, unique order. David Tudor, Gordon Mumma and John Cage composed the music, which changed every performance. The constantly changing score was reflected in the original title, First Week of June, with the music for the second performance titled Second Week of June and so on. There was no set, and Cunningham designed the costumes– sweat suits bound with tape to give the figure more definition.