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 Post subject: Merce Cunningham 2007
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 9:24 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 943
Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
Previews of Merce Cunningham's crazy new performance experiment involving iPods and two performance halls:

Quote:
Merce Cunningham's playful experiments
Susan Josephs, LA Times

Back in the mid-'50s, when he faced both financial woes and the snobbery of the New York dance establishment, choreographer Merce Cunningham started taking his fledgling troupe on the road for "one-night stands" at any venue he could book. In a VW bus bought with borrowed money, "we used to travel great distances. After all, performing for one night was better than nothing," he says with a chuckle.

Speaking by phone from his New York studio, the 88-year-old Cunningham — now a modern dance icon — admits to fond memories of those days. "I remember a great deal of laughter, no matter how difficult it was," he says.

Half a century later, that sheer zest for putting on a show has not abated, as spectators at the Orange County Performing Arts Center are due to find out tonight. Far from re-creating yesterday's masterpieces, Cunningham's dancers will perform a new work, with a score composed for iPods programmed to "shuffle," and another piece devised especially for the center's Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.

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Quote:
iPods play a part in choreographer's new work
Laura Bleiberg, Orange County Register

Said Cunningham: "I think a little bit like cell phones have changed the way we communicate, it seems to me that iPods, in the way they operate, the individual can make his own selection or he can make an arrangement of a given selection of pieces. It's not fixed and that idea has interested me as a choreographer for a long time."

The Cunningham Dance Company will present three works, including "eyeSpace," in an unusual single performance at the Orange County Performing Arts Center on Saturday. It is the company's first visit there since 1997.
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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2007 2:52 pm 
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Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
Reviews for MCDC's performance last weekend:

Quote:
Merce Cunningham, the mix master
Chris Pasles, LA Times

For a few hours Saturday, the Orange County Performing Arts Center became one of the hippest places around. That's because the Merce Cunningham Dance Company took over the site, performing in three locations — the new Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, the Community Arts Plaza (on film) and the older Segerstrom Hall.

The program was also a first for the 88-year-old Cunningham. Never before had his company, founded in 1953, performed in multiple sites in a single evening.
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Exploring space
Laura Bleiberg, Orange County Register

Saturday night's Merce Cunningham dance concert at the Orange County Performing Arts Center was about as close to a 1960s "happening" as you never thought you'd witness behind the Orange curtain.

The big difference between 1967 and 2007? Not hairstyles – it's technology. It was integral to Saturday's experience with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, and some of us needed handholding to keep it all straight.
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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2007 2:56 pm 
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Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
I attended the MCDC performance at OCPAC, and if I had only two words to sum it up, they'd be "cerebral rave". I think this was the kind of thing only Merce Cunningham could get away with because it would seem like a shallow stunt for anyone else, but for Cunningham, it's the natural result of decades of aleatoric choreography.

My favorite part of the evening was after the MCDC concerts were over, and UCI students were performing Merce-like choreography outside the two halls. The iPod stations had been arranged like a baseball diamond with the dancers in the center. I couldn't help but wonder when in the middle of people surrounding the dancers trying to watch, next snaking lines of patrons trying to return their iPods, with the ushers' refrains of "This is the line for iPods" whether this was one last piece of choreography deliberately made by Merce to immerse us all in his dance.

--Andre


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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 2:19 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:01 pm
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Location: El Granada, CA, USA
Great image! Thanks Andre!


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