Regarding Cunningham's relationship to ballet, I believe of all the moderns (let's round them off at Graham, Limon, Cunningham, Horton &Wigman), his technique is the easiest phsyically for ballet dancers to transition into, what with it's focus on shape & line, it's very similar to say the Balanchine style of 4 Temperaments or Agon.... mindset-wise, Graham is the closest to ballet's extremes of discipline, but physically it's pretty different. Aesthetically, perhaps Limon follows ballet's fascination with curves and suspence/release (sorry for the malaprop, it's late and I've melted my grey cells shooting frogs battling Nutcrackers for several hours today).
It would be great to see more visual arts names mixed in there getting a chance to play. Part of what made the Ballets Russe and Cunningham, for that matter, a phenomenom was their collaboration with visual artists.
I worry perhaps a bit about the "youth" focus, the "mentoring" thing.... I suspect this place would be far more fertile if it were indeed more a "hangout" than a potentially patronizing mentoring type thing... it totally depends on getting the mentors to respect the young people... otherwise, what's the difference between this and any fine arts university? Or maybe I just wish old fogeys would get a chance to play too (or does that become impossible like the "you can never go back home" concept).
What did you all think of Baryshnikov's quote?
Mr. Baryshnikov talked of Rauschenberg's habit of questioning himself every morning. What should he have done already? the artist asked himself. More important, what shouldn't he do? "I wake up with this phrase all the time," Mr. Baryshnikov said. "It puts you into the right frame of mind, because life pushes you to fall into a routine, which is not necessarily healthy. Life is not a series of convenient events, from my point of view.