Merce Cunningham Rockefeller Award

In this video Merce Cunningham tells us how he began his dance career, eventually becoming a soloist in the Martha Graham Dance Company.

Later he and John Cage, composer, met. They decided to create works together where the dance and the music were separated to a degree. In other words two separate entities of music and dance came together as a work rather than the music being designed specifically for the dance.

In a somewhat similar manner Cunningham’s dancers were allowed to be themselves rather than pretending to be something else. They sought their own identities.

“Good-night, sweet prince; And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.” Horatio in Act V, Scene ii of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

The choreography in this DVD you’ll love. But the “music”? Well, you’ll need to decide for yourself. Since Cunningham and John Cage, composer, work independently on this piece and the dancers are unfamiliar with the “music” until they perform, you may find it a bit jarring to the ears.

But the choreography strays little from classical dance. This aspect of the DVD you’ll sure to appreciate!


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