Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×

Merce Cunningham - Washington, DC 3/27-29

Recommended Posts

Just a few brief impressions (3/27), mostly about "eyeSpace." Anybody else want to chime in?

CRWDSPCR (1993) - I enjoyed the robodance-like upper body work in this one.

"Second Hand" (1970) - For once, I thought the music better than the dance. Choreography seemed awfully static to me, but the music (John Cage's "Cheap Imitation") had a nice flow.

"eyeSpace" (2006) - I was prepared to like this, just because I thought the concept was pretty neat: "[composer Mikel Rouse] wanted to employ the [iPod] shuffle... as a compositional device, thereby allowing each audience member to have his or her own unique sequence of the score... There is also an additional 'environmental score' that is performed live in the theater and represents the cityscape of sounds that music devices attempt to tune out." (composer's program note)

However, once I plugged in the iPod, I felt alienated and psychologically distanced both from the onstage action and from the other people in the audience. It was almost a voyeuristic experience with listening to the iPod perceived as a separate activity from watching the dance onstage. Not at all what I expected, and I found it rather disconcerting. I give the MCDC full credit for continuing to serve up new experiences to its audience!

During curtain call MC took his bows from the wheelchair, although he did not offer any post-show remarks as he has done here in the past.

Link to comment

Mike, thanks a lot for posting. If I'd known the company was in town, I'd have gone myself. I hope you saw Alastair MacCauley's NY Times review focusing on "Second Hand. I haven't seen "Second Hand" or "eyeSpace," but I think I'd have the same reaction to an IPod soundtrack as you did. But yes, that's just the sort of experiment Merce would conduct, and bless him for it.

CRWDSPCR was the final piece on the first Cunningham program I ever saw (at the American Dance Festival in Durham, N.C. in 1993), and the first one I really "got." (By that time much of the rest of the audience had cleared out). On the company's website you can purchase a wonderful video of that piece, with rehearsal footage and brief interviews followed by the complete dance.

Link to comment
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...