Together with his life partner, the composer John Cage, Cunningham developed a new approach to the relationship between dance and music, discarding music as a structural base to which dancers dance, and concentrating on the pure movement of bodies.
Merce Cunningham formed his own company in 1953, leading it and creating new work until close to his death in 2009. He often collaborated with some of the most prominent artists of the time, such as Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns and David Tudor.
Ever fascinated by technology, in the 1970s Cunningham carried out some pioneering work on film and video, first with Charles Atlas and then with Eliot Caplan, thus contributing to define a new grammar of dance on film.
Merce Cunningham was born in Centralia, Washington, on 9 April 1919; and on the exact centenary of his birth 75 dancers drawn from around the world will occupy three stages to commemorate the man, his work and his multifaceted legacy.
In programmes tailor-made for Los Angeles, London and New York, they’ll perform 100 solos on each stage, with bespoke sets and music commissioned especially for the centennial.
They will be artistically led by former company members, including Daniel Squire in London. The 100 solos will cover Merce Cunningham’s extraordinarily long 70-year career.
It will be a unique opportunity to see and re-evaluate work that remains as fresh and influential today as when it was created throughout the past century; and a fitting tribute to Merce Cunningham, a unique, epoch-defining choreographer.
Age Guidance: 10+
|What||Night of 100 Solos, The Barbican Preview|
|Where||Barbican Theatre, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, E2CY 8DS | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Barbican (underground)|
On 16 Apr 19, 19:45 Dur.: 1 hour 15 mins no interval
|Price||£16.50 + booking fee (concessions available)|
|Website||Click here to book via the Barbican website|