Bid A Fond Adieu to Merce Cunningham’s Legacy
Excuse my ignorance of the form, but I’ve never been much of one for modern dance. It’s an incredibly powerful art that can really illicit emotion through the display of the body contorting and acting in uncommon, graceful ways, but watching too many bad performances soured my taste for the endeavor. Seemed like the dancers were indulging themselves and their whims more than trying to say something to the audience. After all, it’s fun to jump around in spandex.
However, I saw one of the last major performances of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company while Cunningham was still alive. Though I was young and unlearned in the art, it still left an indelible impression that I haven’t seen replicated since. Now’s a chance for you to see some of the man’s legacy to the art before his troupe disbands at the end of the year in a serial show at the Joyce Theater until Mar. 27th.
Being prolific for a long time gives a whole bunch of material to mine for these shows. Many of the dances will be great, to be sure, but the real draw is Antic Meet, the dance which gave people the indelible image of a man dancing with a chair belted to his back. Yeah, what canonized piece of art have you tied to your back lately? It hasn’t been seen since ’69, so it’s definitely equipped with vintage cool. Best of all, for those of you with more interest in some big names of the 20th century on display in MOMA, Robert Rauschenberg designed props and costumes for Antic Meet that will be on display once again.
So see something a bit outside the box and undeniably emotive. You might just leave liking dance, God forbid.
Merce Cunningham Dance Company
The Joyce Theater
175 Eighth Avenue b/w 18th St and 19th St
Tickets start at $10
Thru. Mar. 27th