Dance

Merce Cunningham: The Legacy Tour

 
 
Dec 8—Dec 11, 2011
 
Performance dates & times
LOCATION:
Peter Jay Sharp Building
 
BAM Howard Gilman Opera House
 
 
 
 
 
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December 2011
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Thursday December 08, 2011
Performances no longer available.
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Merce Cunningham Dance Company
Choreography by Merce Cunningham

"You have to love dancing to stick to it. It gives you nothing back, no manuscripts to store away, no paintings to show on walls and maybe hang in museums, no poems to be printed and sold, nothing but that single fleeting moment when you feel alive. It is not for unsteady souls."
—Merce Cunningham (1919—2009)

In contemporary dance, no one has cast a longer shadow than Merce Cunningham, whose seven decades-long career established a bold repertoire as beloved as it was immensely influential. First at BAM in 1954 with Minutiae, and most recently in 2009 with Merce Cunningham at 90, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company returns for its final BAM engagement with The Legacy Tour, four sublime nights of its founder's dance works, presented in celebration of his magnificent achievement.

This major retrospective opens with the revival of Roaratorio (1983), the landmark evening-length work by Cunningham and John Cage, inspired by James Joyce's Finnegans Wake. Attuned to Cage's experimental sound collage, Cunningham invokes a vitalized new dance vocabulary with motifs on Irish dance. Program B features the elegiac Second Hand (1970), with music by Cage and costumes by Jasper Johns, paired with BIPED (1999), accompanied by a visual feast of motion-capture technology and digital imagery. The final program includes revivals of RainForest (1968), featuring work by Andy Warhol (set pieces); Pond Way (1998), a sensuous evocation of nature with set design by Roy Lichtenstein and music by Brian Eno; and Split Sides (2003 Next Wave) with original compositions by Radiohead and Sigur Rós.

A historic happening, BAM's presentation of The Legacy Tour offers US audiences a final chance to see these large-scale repertory works performed by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company before the group's disbandment at the end of this year. Join us in this celebration of a legendary artist and his astonishing body of work.

Program A:
Roaratorio (1983)
Music by John Cage, Roaratorio, an Irish Circus on Finnegans Wake
Costumes by Mark Lancaster

Program B:
Second Hand (1970)
Music by John Cage, Cheap Imitation
Costumes by Jasper Johns

BIPED (1999)
Music by Gavin Bryars
Décor by Shelley Eshkar, Paul Kaiser

Program C:
Pond Way (1998)
Music by Brian Eno, New Ikebukkuro
Décor by Roy Lichtenstein
Costumes by Suzanne Gallo

RainForest (1968)
Music by David Tudor, RainForest
Featuring Andy Warhol's installation Silver Clouds

Split Sides (2003)
Music by Radiohead, Sigur Rós
Décor by Robert Heishman, Catherine Yass
Costumes by James Hall
Lighting by James F. Ingalls