Dancing around the Bride

Dancing Cunningham, October 26. Front (L to R): Melissa Toogood, John Hinrichs, Emma Desjardins. Rear: Marcie Munnerlyn, Brandon Collwes. Photo: Constance Mensh

“May I have the next dance, Marcel?”  “But of course, John!”  “Thank you. By the way, Bob and Jap hope to have a chance too. Merce, of course, is already leaping about somewhere.”  Dancing around the Bride: Cage, Cunningham, Johns, Rauschenberg and Duchamp, the stunning exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (through January 21), affirms the close artistic and personal connections among John … [Read more...]

Re Winterbranch: The Comment That Grew

Winterbranch in 1971 performance. Carolyn Brown leaping. Photo: James Klosty

If you happened to read “East to West to East,” my Arts Journal response to Benjamin Millepied’s new company, L.A. Dance Project, soon after I posted it on October 29 (which was shortly before I lost power and connectivity), you will find some small but crucial changes in the early November updates. They occur in my passage about the lighting for the group’s staging of Merce Cunningham’s 1964 … [Read more...]

East to West to East

(L to R) Nathan Makolandra, Morgan Lugo, and (aloft) Charlie Hodges in Benjamin Millepied's Moving Parts. Photo: Stephanie Berger

A choreographer who has just formed his own small company must be very, very brave to make Merce Cunningham’s 1964 Winterbranch the centerpiece of its debut program. Benjamin Millepied is certifiably brave. Starting a group in Los Angeles and naming it the L.A. Dance Project is already adventurous. I’m an Angeleno by birth, with the scent of eucalyptus and Pacific salt air embedded in my … [Read more...]

Merce Redivivus

new Sounddance 4, AJ

Stand in a summer field at dusk, and you’re surrounded by a silence that only seems silent. Intermittently a bird calls, a wild apple falls from a tree, a sudden wind ruffles leaves. In the distance, a figure bends down to pick something.  On a busy city street, it’s almost impossible not to be in motion and enveloped by motion and noise. The soundscape is dense with the whoosh of traffic, human … [Read more...]