Merce Cunningham Dance Company311.
(photo credit: courtesy)
It was almost possible to feel the slight breeze made by fluttering wings of
history at the Jerusalem Theater, where the Merce Cunningham Dance Company took
the stage as part of their Legacy Tour.
Cunningham, who died almost two
years ago, was the only artist who provided funding for the two-year global
farewell tour, which will end in December 2011. In addition, he provided a means
for career shifts for the company members and left detailed instructions to
ensure preservation of his work for future generations.
(2003) is a well polished example of his ‘Chance’ theory, which he toyed with for
over five decades. Five dignitaries, including the festival’s director, came on
stage to toss the dice, used to decide the order in which the dance sections,
lighting, set décor, music or costumes will be used.
In contrast to the
choreography of Cunningham’s contemporaries, the dancers’ moves are far from
natural or mundane; they are highly stylized, never improvised, and rather
strict and contrived, as if they were devised by the choreographic software
which Cunningham investigated for a long time. It certainly broadened his
movement options and serves a rather interesting as an example of his
frame-by frame thinking process.
Actually, the second, much earlier piece
e (1975) was less monolithic, making it even more interesting in terms
of compositional forms and humanistic flare. Sounddance
forward the more spirited face of the company.
Meeting for the last time
with the wonderful dancers, all personally trained by Cunningham, was a unique,
once in a lifetime experience. By remaining true to this vision, Cunningham has
left an indelible mark upon the world of contemporary dance.