Merce Cunningham Dance Company
and dance umbrella 2002
"Dance Umbrella starts this year with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company at the Barbican Theatre. Part of this year's BITE season, the two programmes include no less than three UK premieres, plus a world premiere specially commissioned by the Barbican. Immediately following the performances, the company moves to the London Contemporary Dance School at The Place for a week-long residency, our first with a major international company in London. A packed schedule includes not only classes and workshops for students and professionals, but, for members of the public, a study day, presentations, discussions and films each night in the Robin Howard Dance Theatre and the Founders' Studio."
Val Bourne, Artistic Director, Dance Umbrella
The Barbican Theatre Season Tue 10 to Sat 14 Sep
Celebrating its 50th birthday, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company returns to Dance Umbrella with five pieces of work in two programmes including the world premiere a Barbican co-commision, Fluid Canvas. Over the last 50 years of dance making Merce Cunningham has become regarded as the most accomplished and revered contemporary dance choreographer of our time:
"the world's greatest living choreographer" (Wall Street Journal).
Spread over two separate programmes, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company season at the Barbican includes the world premiere of Fluid Canvas (2002) and the European Premiere of Loose Time (2002). The full programme of work also features the UK premieres of Interscape (2000), Way Station (2001) along with a revival of How to Pass, Kick, Fall and Run (1965), first seen in London in 1972.
These performances are part of BITE:02 in association with Dance Umbrella 2002.
Merce Cunningham Dance Company Residency Mon 16 to Fri 20 Sep
Following the performances at the Barbican, Dance Umbrella is proud to present the company's first ever London residency. As well as delivering an intense and invaluable experience for dance students and UK practitioners there are a number of unique public events presented at the Robin Howard Dance Theatre and the Founders' Studio at The Place.
In addition to these events at there's a chance to see LOOPS at the ICA Theatre (Tue 10 - Sat 14 Sep). This interactive installation uses motion captured data from Cunningham's 1972 solo of the same name, Cunningham reading his own diary entries from his first three-day visit to New York City when he was seventeen, and electronic music composed and performed by Takehisa Kosugi. LOOPS has been created by Paul Kaiser, Shelley Eshkar, and Marc Downie, digital artists and collaborators on Fluid Canvas, and has been described as a '21st century portrait of Merce Cunningham'.
§ Merce Cunningham Study Day
Mon 16 Sep 2pm - 6.30pm / 8pm - 9.30pm Robin Howard Dance Theatre
Hosted by Alastair Macaulay (Chief Theatre Critic, Financial Times) with David Vaughan (Company Archivist) joined by past and present company members and collaborators. Merce Cunningham himself will make a special appearance. The event concludes with screenings of rare film and video footage of the company in rehearsal and performance 1944 to 1995.
§ Merce Cunningham: Three Films with Bob Lockyer
Tue 17 Sep 8pm Robin Howard Dance Theatre
The BBC's former executive producer of Dance Programmes, presents three of Cunningham's most important film works. Story (1964), offers a rare chance to see dancers from the early days including Viola Farber, Carolyn Brown and Merce himself. Beach Birds for Camera (1991) is Elliot Caplan's screen version of the popular stage work. Torse (1977) is a Charles Atlas film made with two cameras. The film from each camera is projected simultaneously to give a wonderful new perspective on dance performance.
§ Merce Cunningham: A Lifetime of Dance
Wed 18 Sep 6pm Founders' Studio
Charles Atlas's award winning documentary includes footage from 50 eventful years.
§ Reconstructing Totem Ancestor
Wed 18 Sep 8pm Robin Howard Dance Theatre
Company member Daniel Roberts presents this 1942 solo and, with Company Archivist David Vaughan, describes its reconstruction from a Labanotation score.
§ Film: Cage / Cunningham
Thu 19 Sep 6pm Founders' Studio
Elliot Caplan's documentary shows a portrait of one of the most creative partnerships of the 20th century.
§ Takehisa Kosugi in Conversation
Thu 19 Sep 8pm Robin Howard Dance Theatre
Composer and company Musical Director Takeshi Kosugi in conversation with Annette Morreau and Richard Steinitz, respectively Founding Directors of the Contemporary Music Network and the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.
§ Films: Triple Bill
Fri 20 Sep 6pm Founders' Studio
Charles Atlas' behind the scenes Roamin' I (1980), Channels/Inserts (1982) made at the Cunningham studios and likened to a party going on in different rooms and, Walkaround Time (1973) Cunningham and Cages homage to Marcel Duchamp complete with inflatable set from Jasper Johns.
§ Merce Cunningham: In Conversation
Fri 20 Sep 8pm Robin Howard Dance Theatre
Merce Cunningham in conversation with Alastair Macaulay and Richard Alston.
Tickets & Info - 020 7387 0031