Choreography / 1964


The concept for Winterbranch came from what Cunningham referred to as “facts in dancing.” Two such facts are the act of falling, and unless one stays on the ground, the subsequent act of rising. The dance began with Cunningham crawling slowly across the stage carrying a flashlight, followed by the dancers engaging in a series of falls, in both slow and fast motion, eventually clustering together to fall and rise as a cohesive group. Cunningham asked Rauschenberg to think of the lighting as if it were nighttime, with automobile lights flashing in faces, reminiscent of walking along a dark highway. Rauschenberg dressed the dancers in sweat suits and sneakers, with black paint under their eyes. La Monte Young’s music for the piece, entitled 2 Sounds, consisted of “the sound of ashtrays scraped against a mirror, and the other, that of pieces of wood rubbed against a Chinese gong.”


Premiere Date

Mar 21, 1964

Premiere Venue

Wadsworth Atheneum

Premiere Location

Hartford, CT


La Monte Young, 2 Sounds


Robert Rauschenberg


Robert Rauschenberg


Robert Rauschenberg


23 minutes

Original Cast

Carolyn Brown

Merce Cunningham

William Davis

Viola Farber

Barbara Lloyd

Steve Paxton

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