Merce in Colour (not color!)

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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In January last year the Imp kicked off at the New York Times about "Monday's with Merce" (a title that has not gotten better with age). They were acting like internet video was a new thing, yada yada.

Well, four months late the aforementioned online project to bring Merce Cunningham and his company to the online masses has come to the web in glorious colour and you can watch it right now, for free!

The aim of the project is to build up an archive of the man, his methods and his work. Mr Cunningham (who is approximately 145 years old), is the oldest living dance maker on Planet Earth and he has a lot of work that needs to be documented.

In the online world you can only access short clips of each production, about 10 minutes or so, but there is a full length DVD version that can be bought for cash money should you wish to do so.

The online videos are well produced, use high quality Quicktime video and show with a great deal of clarity the mechanics behind the omnipresent "Cunningham Technique". There's a little too much chatter for our tastes and the live show footage is proof positive that you either love this kind of work or hate it, there is no middle ground.

There is also no good reason that the last 90 seconds of the video should be taking up with pointless credits.

It is fascinating to watch hard core professionals doing a Cunningham class. The technique, at that level, is incredibly difficult and dancers new and old should get some insight from these videos.

Dance students should feel free to run screaming in terror at their leisure. Sadly no podcast version is available, maybe they'll get to that later!

[ Monday's With Merce ]

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