Sunday, December 4, 2011

End of an Era: Merce Cunningham Dance Company's Legacy Tour

Merce Cunningham -- a dancer and choreographer -- was a major figure in the modern dance world from the 1950s until his death in 2009.  Following his death, his dance company began the process of winding down.  The company's two-year legacy tour concludes this month, at which point the company will disband and all rights to the Cunningham choreography will revert to the Merce Cunningham Trust. 

Tonight I was fortunate enough to see one of these final performances by the company of dancers that Cunningham personally trained.  They performed three pieces -- one from 1958, the others from the mid-1970s.  Each piece was highly original, with elements of humor and a strong dose of the absurd -- including a delightful segment involving a four-sleeved sweater without a neck-hole (a photo of which was available on the Kennedy Center website)...

I don't have a sufficiently sophisticated knowledge of dance, especially modern dance, to give a more in-depth critique.  However, I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed the performance.  The combination of a remarkable performance with the sense of farewell and ending made it particularly moving.

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