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Merce Cunningham Analysis

  • Submitted by: N8101001
  • on October 6, 2012
  • Category: Arts and Music
  • Length: 1,880 words

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Merce Cunningham

Known as the great innovator of modern dance, Cunningham has pioneered numerous elements in performing arts. From chance operations and his infamous work with composer John Cage, to his most recent discoveries of computer technology and electronic dance notation. Cunningham has paved the way for future postmodern choreographers to focus solely on movement itself, while discovering new possibilities for dance theatre. With a career spanning over half a century, Cunningham’s achievements have left him with a reputation as a “… liberating force… for the entire generation of modern dance…” (The Kennedy center, 2009) That subsequently has made for the evolution of a codifiable technique that has become essential for any modern dance practitioner. Cunningham moved away from modern dance so completely that a new term had to be discovered, and so began postmodern dance. (Perron, 2009)  

Born 1919 in Centralia, Washington, his father a lawyer and mother a housewife who was a fiercely independent spirit and traveled around the world.   Cunningham went to the Cornish school to become an actor and joined a dance group on campus; this is where he met his future work partner John Cage. After attending a dance workshop he met Martha Graham, who invited him to New York to join her company, from which he performed in many of her works. In 1953 he traveled with John Cage to Black Mountain Collage where they founded the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, as a platform to explore ideas. This led to a career of 150 dance works, and soon the creation of ‘Events’ that gave an opportunity for the company to perform preexisting repertoire in new environments.   Later in his career Cunningham then looked into electronic dance notation, and fusing dance with new media. Cunningham’s extensive career has led to numerous awards, for example the National Medal of Arts 1990, and the Macarthur Fellowship 1985. From his death in 2009 at the age of 90 Cunningham has left an...

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Merce Cunningham Analysis. Anti Essays. Retrieved December 14, 2018, from the World Wide Web: http://parimatch-stavka7.com/free-essays/Merce-Cunningham-Analysis-320607.html


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