Iconic BAM Artists

Merce Cunningham

Merce Cunningham (1919-2009) always tested boundaries, explored new territories, and questioned his surroundings. From the formation of his company in the early 1950s at Black Mountain College in North Carolina, to the beginning of the 21st century, he remained a leading force in American contemporary culture, significantly shaping the public perception of contemporary dance. Born in Centralia, WA, Cunningham received his first formal dance and theater training at the Cornish School (now Cornish College of the Arts) in Seattle. From 1939 to 1945, he was a soloist in Martha Graham's company. During that time, he began to choreograph independently, presenting his first solo concert in New York with John Cage in April 1944. In the summer of 1953, he founded the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, for which he choreographed over 200 works. In 2000, the Library of Congress recognized Merce Cunningham as a Living Legend for his lasting contribution to enriching our national heritage. The Merce Cunningham Dance Company made the first of its many groundbreaking BAM appearances in 1954. For more information on the Merce Cunningham Dance Company Legacy Tour, visit merce.org.


 
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Split Sides (2011)
 
 
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Second Hand (2011)
 
 
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Roaratorio (2011)
 
 
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BIPED (2011)
 
 
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Blog 
Happy Birthday, Merce Cunningham! 
 
April 16, 2012 would have marked Merce Cunningham's 93rd birthday. Here are some gifts that might have pleased him...
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Artists 
Merce Cunningham Trust 
 
OFFICIAL SITE
Performance History
Merce Cunningham Dance Company at BAM
Two Step, Sixteen Dances for Soloist and Company of Three
Apr 22, 1952
Merce Cunningham and Dance Company
Jan 20, 1954
Minutiae
Dec 8, 1954
Nocturnes
Jan 12, 1957
Labyrinthine Dances, Changeling, and Picnic Polka
Nov 30, 1957
Suite for Five, Antic Meet, Winterbranch
Apr 23, 1966
A Demonstration Program of Contemporary American Dance
Apr 29, 1966
Variations V, Filed Dances, Place, Collage III
Apr 1, 1967
Scramble; Place; How to Pass, Kick, Fall and Run
Dec 2, 1967
RainForest, Walkaround Time
May 15—26, 1968
Canfield
Apr 15—19, 1969
Walkaround Time, Second Hand, Rainforest, Crises, Canfield, Winterbranch, Tread, Place
Jan 5—16, 1970
Rainforest, Second Hand, Tread, Tread DM183, Canfield, Signals (Premiere), Walkaround Time, Objects
Nov 3—15, 1970
Rainforest, TV rerun (World Premiere), Walkaround Time, Second Hand. Event #26, Signals, Objects, Tread, Borst Park (World Premiere), Canfield (Complete Version), Landrover
Feb 1—13, 1972
#65: Signals, Changing Steps (premiere), Loops, TV rerun #66: Solo (premiere), Cross Currents, Changing Steps, Landrover #67: Canfield #68: Borst park, Solo, Changing Steps
March 22—25, 1973
Events Nos 89 and 90: (sections from) TV Rerun, Changing Steps, Loops
Mar 1—2, 1974
Roaratorio, Inlets 2
Oct 7—12, 1986
White Oak Dance Project
Mar 25—29, 1997
Forward & Reverse
Oct 14—19, 1997
50th Anniversary Season
Oct 14—19, 2003
Nearly Ninety (Merce Cunningham at 90)
Apr 16—19, 2009
The Legacy Tour
Dec 7—10, 2011