death of Merce Cunningham at age 90 (after presenting his most
recent–and now final–work in April at the Brooklyn Academy of Music)
preempts the regularly scheduled content on this page. But no worries!
Tomorrow will bring what today promised.
Merce Cunningham was the greatest of the American poets of dance. His
star rose at a crucial time and the constellation of Merce, Martha
Graham, and George Balanchine made New York the dance center of the
world. The leonine Merce was avant-garde, revolutionary, and curious,
of course, but he was also, perhaps most importantly, an extraordinary
teacher. His work was often aesthetically uncomfortable (separating
music from dance in a cognitive way and presenting both forms together
without narrative or symbolic relation, using the music of Radiohead
[?!?!] in his choreography), but always energized, and dance will carry
his influence well into the ages. Tonight the angels are learning to
dance all over again in Heaven.
Alive (for Merce Cunningham)
By Annmarie Lockhart
strip it down
break it apart
and see what the pieces each do
when you throw them back together again/
leave them to chance
every element all its own/