Merce Cunningham Dies at 90

panta rei dans lullaby

Video - Panta Rei Danseteater 'Lullaby'

Norwegian dance company Panta Rei Danseteater, late last year, conducted a little experiment whereby three dance makers created two pieces with the same name based on the same idea, featuring three male dancers and two musicians, to see what the outcome was.

June 2nd, 2016

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The New York Times is reporting that dance maker Merce Cunningham died this past Sunday at 90 years of age at his home in Manhattan, New York.

Mr Cunningham was probably one of the best known choreographers in the world with a career spanning six decades, most of that time with his own company. He remained as a dancer with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company up until his 70th birthday. Following his retirement he continued to create work even when he became confined to a wheelchair.

Having originally trained in acting as well as dance he chose movement over all else and joined the, now legendary, Martha Graham Dance Company in 1939 where he remained for several years as a principle dancer.

During the 40's and 50's he began creating his own works and during this time he met the musician John Cage a collaborator and partner until he passed away in 1992.

Dance students were always made very familiar not only with his particular movement technique, taught in schools all over the world, but with his themes of chance, abstraction and his long time collaboration with John Cage. His work was always difficult to watch and listen to, for many, but easy to admire in terms of skill and craft.

Only recently the company launched 'Mondays with Merce' providing video insights into the day to day workings of the company, company class and their creative process.

Mr Cunningham had already made plans for his dance company prior to his death. They will tour around the world for the next two years and when that tour finishes the company and the trust that runs it will disband.

[ Merce Cunningham Company ]
[ New York Times ]

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