Previews of Merce Cunningham's crazy new performance experiment involving iPods and two performance halls:
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.more
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. more