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Author Topic:   Dance Umbrella 2000/Merce Cunningham
Stuart Sweeney
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posted August 26, 2000 11:44     Click Here to See the Profile for Stuart Sweeney   Click Here to Email Stuart Sweeney     Edit/Delete Message

Merce Cunninghamís ĎBipedí - one of the hottest tickets at this yearís Dance
Umbrella


Dance Umbrella is always a joy for dance lovers in London, but this year they really do seem to have
pulled out all the stops. The new Festival, which starts in September has major international companies
such as (forgive the caps):
DV8
ANGELIN PRELJOCAJ
MERCE CUNNINGHAM
SIOBHAN DAVIES
STEPHEN PETRONIO
TRISHA BROWN

and a range of outstanding UK and international artists such as Akram Khan and
Saburo Teshigawara. I went through the brochure earlier this week and tabbed the
ones I wanted to see. It would have been easier to tab the ones that I didnít want to
see!

They donít seem to have got their new website quite together yet, but there is news of
some of the performances on the exisiting skeleton site.
http://www.danceumbrella.co.uk/

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Stuart Sweeney
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posted August 26, 2000 13:22     Click Here to See the Profile for Stuart Sweeney   Click Here to Email Stuart Sweeney     Edit/Delete Message

BBC are screening a film about Cunningham this Saturday, which I hope to see on
video. Jeffrey Taylor interviewed the legendary choreographer:

quote:
I put it to him that the next step in his progress to the US Pantheon is Arlington Cemetery. Luckily, his response was laughter in keeping with the impish figure featured in Saturday's programme, with his shock of white hair and a grin almost as permanent as that of Jack Nicholson's The Joker. The frivolous private image is at odds with his stern, unforgiving choreography.

Merce Cunningham interview


[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited August 30, 2000).]

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Stuart Sweeney
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posted September 09, 2000 07:50     Click Here to See the Profile for Stuart Sweeney   Click Here to Email Stuart Sweeney     Edit/Delete Message
There are two press releases about Dance Umbrella 2000 down in our special forum;

General press release

Virtual Incarnations - Merce Cunningham and others

[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited September 09, 2000).]

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Stuart Sweeney
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posted October 06, 2000 02:59     Click Here to See the Profile for Stuart Sweeney   Click Here to Email Stuart Sweeney     Edit/Delete Message

Merce Cunningham performing in 1964

Donald Hutera interviews the young-at-heart, 81-year-old Merce Cunningham as he prepares to bring his company back to London.

[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited October 06, 2000).]

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Stuart Sweeney
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posted October 08, 2000 03:09     Click Here to See the Profile for Stuart Sweeney   Click Here to Email Stuart Sweeney     Edit/Delete Message
The Guardian provides a 4000 word profile of Merce Cunningham, together with a useful data list at the end with career details, works, dates etc. The great man's company will dominate dance proceedings in London this week.

Merce Cunningham profile

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Stuart Sweeney
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posted October 10, 2000 01:21     Click Here to See the Profile for Stuart Sweeney   Click Here to Email Stuart Sweeney     Edit/Delete Message

Technical skills: Merce Cunningham creates computer-choreographed works


Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor and Trisha Brown, giants of modern dance, come to Britain this season and Ismene Brown compares them:

quote:
It is, of course, best to revel in both. Between them, they have laid out the palette with which almost all contemporary dance today is painted. And by an extraordinary coincidence, they are both about to come to Britain, so we can see their contrasting work for ourselves.

No one needs reminding what a year 2000 has been for classical ballet lovers, but in years to come those who love modern dance will recall the almost unprecedented opportunity this year gave them to see the finest creators of the golden age of American modern dance. Not only did we have the charming Mark Morris last summer at the Coliseum, but tonight Cunningham opens at the Barbican and next month Taylor visits Sadler's Wells, with the bonus of Trisha Brown also coming to tour Britain in November. Though less famous than her elders, nowadays Brown is probably even more influential than them.


Now read on

[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited October 10, 2000).]

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Stuart Sweeney
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posted October 12, 2000 03:52     Click Here to See the Profile for Stuart Sweeney   Click Here to Email Stuart Sweeney     Edit/Delete Message
Merce Cunningham holds audience at London's Barbican with his remarkable 'Bibed' and gets a rare 5* rating from Judith Mackrell:

quote:
As a choreographer, one of Merce Cunningham's most extraordinary projects has been to reinvent the stage. Rather than placing his dancers in regular patterns, with the focus centre stage, he makes his choreography appear like a random visual field. Different dance activities may be happening simultaneously across the stage, while the number of performers grows and shrinks with a rhythm impossible to predict. Watching a Cunningham dance is like watching real life throwing up images and patterns out of apparent chaos.

So it's not surprising that in Biped, Cunningham's first voyage into digital dance (a live performance into which computerised moving images have been projected) we're treated to monumental and magical spatial illusions. As one woman dances alone, bars of coloured light track across a transparent scrim in front of her. The spaces between the bars widen, creating a dizzying sense of the whole stage expanding. Then they contract and disappear and the dancer's body suddenly looks more dense - a concentration of atoms posed in crystalline light.


Now read on


And a review of Cunningham's 'Interscape', but from a quick skim I can't see where it was performed - how strange!

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Azlan
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posted October 12, 2000 07:48     Click Here to See the Profile for Azlan   Click Here to Email Azlan     Edit/Delete Message
And here is a discussion readers might be interested in:

Merce Cunningham's Summerspace, Interscape & BIPED and Video Technology

[This message has been edited by Azlan (edited October 12, 2000).]

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Stuart Sweeney
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posted October 13, 2000 02:05     Click Here to See the Profile for Stuart Sweeney   Click Here to Email Stuart Sweeney     Edit/Delete Message
Clement Crisp's mastery of language comes up trumps as he describes 'Biped':

quote:
Biped (the name comes from some computer language) is a piece about dance, like everything Cunningham does, but - as with all his work that is sparked off by computer graphics - it has gained from the added dimensions that inhuman technology can suggest for human activity. (New and unlikely shapes, turns of the limbs, phrases, tempi for movement itself.) Not that Cunningham parrots what the machine does. Rather does he control, select, amend. And in this newest piece, the computer can suggest memories, ideals, commentaries, since the fore- front of the stage is a scrim on which are projected abstractions, linear or dotted outlines, taken from the work of dancers in a studio.

Now read on

And Ismene Brown reviewsCunningham and the associated Thecla Schiphorst installation at the Institute of Contempory.

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Stuart Sweeney
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posted October 15, 2000 01:06     Click Here to See the Profile for Stuart Sweeney   Click Here to Email Stuart Sweeney     Edit/Delete Message
London is, by and large, blown away by Merce Cunningham and 'Biped'. other related events are also discuused or mentioned. The Wayne McGregor 'Trilogy' is also great and I will go again tonight:

David Dougill's review

Nadine Meisner's review

Jann Parry's review

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Azlan
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posted October 16, 2000 12:20     Click Here to See the Profile for Azlan   Click Here to Email Azlan     Edit/Delete Message
BTW, Kinetix, the company that created the animation sofware used in Biped, was also responsible for the dancing baby on Ally McBeal...

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Basheva
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posted March 25, 2001 07:55     Click Here to See the Profile for Basheva   Click Here to Email Basheva     Edit/Delete Message
Merce Cunningham and the Language of the Body

By CAROLYN BROWN


quote:
Merce Cunningham and his company have burst on the British scene like a bomb, for a simple reason. At a blow, ballet has been brought right up in line with the front-rank experimenters in the other arts ó something which has hardly happened since the days of Diaghilev. Here is heart-warming proof that it is an art with a future, opening up ranges of possibilities which stretch out of sight.


MORE...

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Basheva
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posted April 02, 2001 07:09     Click Here to See the Profile for Basheva   Click Here to Email Basheva     Edit/Delete Message
From the New York Times:

Cunningham, an Innovator in the Desert

By ANNA KISSELGOFF



quote:
Like an April shower, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company returned, admittedly on March 31, to refresh the eye and reinvigorate the spirit.


MORE...

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trina
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posted April 02, 2001 08:23     Click Here to See the Profile for trina   Click Here to Email trina     Edit/Delete Message
Wow---they're reviving "Summerspace" (looks like a pointillist painting come to life) and "Rainforest" which had stage decor by Andy Warhol!!!! How exciting!! And Cunningham is 81...amazing!

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Basheva
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posted April 05, 2001 07:23     Click Here to See the Profile for Basheva   Click Here to Email Basheva     Edit/Delete Message
From the New York Times:

'Interscape (2000)': Tucking Into a Blue-Plate Premiere

By ANNA KISSELGOFF


quote:
The Merce Cunningham Dance Company's new program at City Center on Tuesday night was like a rich menu presented in reverse.

Dessert came first with the ever-stunning "Pond Way," a deeply affecting poetic work resonant with nature imagery. Beautiful, mysterious, refreshing, it leaves a lasting taste in the recesses of the soul.



MORE...

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Francis Timlin
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posted April 24, 2001 08:51     Click Here to See the Profile for Francis Timlin   Click Here to Email Francis Timlin     Edit/Delete Message
A preview of Merce Cunningham's program at Meany Hall in Seattle, Thursday-Saturday, April 26-28:

http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/texis/web/vortex/display?slug=merce24&date=20010424&query=Merce+Cunningham

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Francis Timlin
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posted May 01, 2001 09:57     Click Here to See the Profile for Francis Timlin   Click Here to Email Francis Timlin     Edit/Delete Message
Reviews from last week's performances of RainForest and Biped in Seattle's Meany Hall:

http://seattlep-i.nwsource.com/classical/20624_merce28q.shtml

http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/texis/web/vortex/display?slug=merce28&date=20010428&query=Merce+Cunningham

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