Merce Cunningham: The Legacy Tour

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About This Show

In contemporary dance, no one has cast a longer shadow than Merce Cunningham, whose seven decades-long career established a bold repertoire as beloved as it was immensely influential. First at BAM in 1954 with Minutiae, and most recently in 2009 with Merce Cunningham at 90, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company returns for its final BAM engagement with The Legacy Tour, four sublime nights of its founder’s dance works, presented in celebration of his magnificent achievement.

This major retrospective opens with the revival of Roaratorio (1983), the landmark evening-length work by Cunningham and John Cage, inspired by James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake. Attuned to Cage’s experimental sound collage, Cunningham invokes a vitalized new dance vocabulary with motifs on Irish dance. Program B features the elegiac Second Hand (1970), with music by Cage and costumes by Jasper Johns, paired with Biped (1999), accompanied by a visual feast of motion-capture technology and digital imagery. The final program includes revivals of RainForest (1968), featuring work by Andy Warhol (set pieces); Pond Way (1998), a sensuous evocation of nature with set design by Roy Lichtenstein and music by Brian Eno; and Split Sides (2003 Next Wave) with original compositions by Radiohead and Sigur Rós.

A historic happening, BAM’s presentation of The Legacy Tour offers US audiences a final chance to see these large-scale repertory works performed by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company before the group’s disbandment at the end of this year. Join us in this celebration of a legendary artist and his astonishing body of work.

Show Details

Dates: Opening Night: December 7, 2011 Final Performance: December 10, 2011