Choreography / 1963

Field Dances

While teaching in Boulder, Colorado, Cunningham was inspired by children running and skipping on the street below his window. As he watched their playful games, Cunningham remembered, “They were having such a beautiful time. Field Dances came from that because I could see that they were running and skipping and to me it was dancing; but for them it wasn’t different.” Similar to the unstructured, carefree way the children played outside of Cunningham’s window, the dancers in Field Dances made their own choice of movements, leaving each performance different from the next. Each dancer was given a number of small events they could do together, and a few short dances to be done on their own. Robert Rauschenberg designed the colorful costumes, which were leotards with chiffon panels attached to the back for the women, and a sweatshirt for the men, over tights. Field Dances first premiered in 1963, with music by John Cage.

Details

Premiere Date

Jul 17, 1963

Premiere Venue

University of California

Premiere Location

Los Angeles, CA

Music

John Cage, Variations IV

Costumes

Robert Rauschenberg

Lighting

Robert Rauschenberg

Duration

12 minutes

Original Cast

Shareen Blair

Carolyn Brown

Merce Cunningham

Viola Farber

Explore the Dance Capsule

Explore More

Other Choreography

Title
Duration
Year
Collaborator(s)
Antic Meet
Duration: 30 minutes
Year: 1958
Collab.: Cage, Rauschenberg
Summerspace
Duration: 20 minutes
Year: 1958
Collab.: Feldman, Rauschenberg, Copp
Night Wandering (Nattvandrare)
Duration: 13 minutes
Year: 1958
Collab.: Nilsson, Cernovich
Gambit for Dancers and Orchestra
Duration: 17 minutes
Year: 1959
Collab.: Johnston, Rauschenberg
From the Poems of White Stone
Duration: Length unknown
Year: 1959
Collab.: Wen-Chung, Rauschenberg
Rune
Duration: 25 minutes
Year: 1959
Collab.: Wolff, Rauschenberg
Theater Piece (1962)
Duration: Length unknown
Year: 1960
Collab.: Cage
Crises
Duration: 22 minutes
Year: 1960
Collab.: Nancarrow, Rauschenberg