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Case Study of Merce Cunningham Trust/Legacy Tour


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#1 sandik

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 09:44 PM

Dance/USA has a short report about the recently released case study of the Merce Cunningham company and its transformation into the Cunningham Trust after the choreographer's death. The report is here, and there's a link to the full (almost 50 page) case study.

#2 kfw

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 08:10 AM

Thanks, Sandik. The Trust has given Cunningham fans plenty to feast on since the company disbanded. The Park Armory Events were thought to have been the last chance to see his work danced by his own dancers, but many ex-company members turned up in Philadelphia for mini-Events in conjunction with the Dancing Around the Bride exhibition that ran late last year through the MLK holiday this January. I’m happy to say I saw a couple of days’ worth.

There is also the wonderful I-Pad app, Merce Cunningham: 65 Years, David Vaughan’s update of his coffee table book on the company’s first 50 years.There is the 3-CD, Park Armory Event compilation - actually 2 CDs of Park Armory performances and one of repertory excerpts (mostly as performed on the Legacy Tour). And there is a 56-minute documentary, not yet commercially released I don’t think, entitled Merce Cunningham, legacy of dance, which apparently concerns the development of the Legacy Plan and the formation of time capsules of individual dances. A small portion of that digital treasure hoard is available to the public on the Merce Capsules website.

#3 Kathleen O'Connell

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 01:27 PM

KFW - Many thanks for the heads up re the Armory Event DVD! I hadn't realized that one was in the works. I went to the very last event on New Year's Eve, and it was both a beautiful and heartbreaking last look at a remarkable company. Robert Swinston did a phenomenal job assembling extracts from 50 years of Cunningham rep into a coherent whole and, even more remarkably, spreading it out over three stages simultaneously in such a way that no matter where you stood there were marvels to see.

And the iPad app is really terrific. We need more dance apps like that.

Also, there's a lengthy and interesting article about the Cunningham Trust and the whole vexed issue of choreographic preservation by Lizzie Feidelson in the latest issue of n+1. It's not available online yet, but most n+1 articles end up in their online archive eventually. (Feidelson is the granddaughter of Marianne Preger, one of Cunningham's first dancers, and has herself worked with the Trust.)

#4 kfw

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 03:41 PM

Thanks, Kathleen, I'll check back for that story. I'm jealous of anybody who saw one of the final performances! Posted Image

#5 Kathleen O'Connell

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 08:37 AM

Also, there's a lengthy and interesting article about the Cunningham Trust and the whole vexed issue of choreographic preservation by Lizzie Feidelson in the latest issue of n+1. It's not available online yet, but most n+1 articles end up in their online archive eventually. (Feidelson is the granddaughter of Marianne Preger, one of Cunningham's first dancers, and has herself worked with the Trust.)


Feidelson's n+1 article is now available online: you can read it in full here.

#6 sandik

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 09:49 AM

Oh thank you -- I've been busy with other stuff, and lost track of this...

#7 kfw

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 06:27 PM

Feidelson's n+1 article is now available online: you can read it in full here.



Thanks a lot. I don’t think that’s a particularly felicitous photo of Sounddance – it makes me think of a bad ballet spoof – but those opening few paragraphs would make a great introduction for someone new to Cunningham’s work. And I’m surprised and intrigued to read that his notes for his dances contain “descriptive adjectives” – not the sort of language he used when he taught, and not, from all I’ve ever read or heard, what I would expect from him.

I also love this bit, which is apparently copyright law, but which sounds like something Cage and Cunningham would have come up with;

“law requires that a piece of choreography be ‘fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which [steps] can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.’”



#8 sandik

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 07:33 PM

I also love this bit, which is apparently copyright law, but which sounds like something Cage and Cunningham would have come up with;

“law requires that a piece of choreography be ‘fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which [steps] can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.’”


Absolutely!


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