Merce Cunningham Dance Company residency includes a week of special events

Author: Carol C. Bradley

Merce Cunningham Dance Company

The Merce Cunningham Dance Company performs at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Nov. 10 and 11, and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12 in the Decio Mainstage Theatre.

Other special events include:

Monday, Nov. 7 through Sunday, Nov. 13, Warhol’s Camera at the Snite Museum of Art. The exhibition focuses on the importance of photography to Warhol’s Pop aesthetic and explores a variety of roles that photography played in his work. A panel discussion (free and open to the public) on Warhol’s collaboration with Merce Cunningham takes place at the Snite from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8, at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, participate in a discussion, What is art? Can it be defined? Free and open to the public.

Robert Rauschenberg’s Scenic Decor, an original creation by the artist, will be on display from 9 am to noon and 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Nov. 10 and 11, and from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12 , in the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center’s Philbin Studio Theatre. Free and open to the public.

Among the last venues to celebrate the worldwide Legacy tour in its final two months, this is the definitive opportunity to see Cunningham’s choreography performed by the company he personally trained before it disbands.

Merce Cunningham has forever imprinted his dominant style on dance by discarding every notion but one: bodies live motion in time and space in the now. No stories or ancient rites: just rhythm, power, proportion and the incredible lightness of freedom. From the company’s founding in 1953 to his death at 90 in 2009, his genius is proving dances needn’t grasp at meaning; it’s already present in the pure nature of movement.

The program of three seminal works from Cunningham’s career includes Suite for Five—first performed at Notre Dame in 1956—and will highlight the modernist collaborations with artistic innovators such as composer John Cage and artist Robert Rauschenberg.


Join Bonnie Brooks, Columbia College Chicago Dance Center chair, and MCDC archivist David Vaughn to explore points of entry to Cunningham’s nonconformist works and trace his creative arc through the history of modern art. Each brings you a deeply informed perspective of a man who found freedom in curiosity and an acute awareness of and acceptance of the moment. Talks are free for ticket holders and begin one hour before curtain.

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.