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Merce Cunningham - 50 Years of Forward Motion presented at Lincoln Center

by Robert Abrams
July 26, 2004
New York, NY

Merce Cunningham
50 Years of Forward Motion presented at Lincoln Center
Pictures (1984), Mélange (2001), Loose Time (2002); Act Three How to Pass, Kick, Fall and Run (1965)

review by Robert Abrams
July 26, 2002

linear, long, shapes, bent arm positions, no emotion, yes shapes but can the dancers smile, walking in a long circular hallway, no frame of reference, timeless, powerful, very fit not too thin, muscular, rear, stillness, no particular order, opposite of samba, a little like rumba in pace, stillness then movement, scraping rocks, rocks okay, some other sounds well annoying, hold position, a long time, still holding, loose time more movement than pictures otherwise common style over time, dancers not smiling except maybe once, audience very happy, it is challenging material this much is true. act three next.

I enjoyed this. there was merce himself and a friend reading commentary. the first minute was a narrative. then it fell away. they were disconnected and sometimes overlapping but it was often funny in the way that peanut butter pie is funny. the dance was more fluid than the other works. just as abstract but it sustained my interest. there was more movement. maybe the movement resonated with me for no definable reason. the same way samba resonates with me. plus the woman in the purple shirt was smiling.

the audience roared with pleasure when this was done and stood up and made merce and his dancers stand up and bow and bow and bow sometimes together and sometimes merce alone on the big empty unadorned stage glorious in its unpretentiousness and he was clearly happy to stand and bow.




Merce Cunningham Dance Company photos provided courtesy of Lincoln Center.


FABRICATIONS1
Robert Swinston and Cheryl Therrien of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company perform "Fabrications" at the New York State Theater on July 25, 2002, presented by Lincoln Center Festival 2002.
Photo Credit: © Stephanie Berger, All Rights Reserved



HOW2
Daniel Roberts of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company performs "How to Pass, Kick, Fall and Run" at the New York State Theater on July 24, 2002, presented by Lincoln Center Festival 2002.
Photo Credit: © Stephanie Berger, All Rights Reserved



PICTURES1
Members of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company perform "Pictures" at the New York State Theater on July 24, 2002, presented by Lincoln Center Festival 2002.
Photo Credit: © Stephanie Berger, All Rights Reserved



SUITEFORFIVE3
Members of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company perform "Suite For Five" at the New York State Theater on July 25, 2002, presented by Lincoln Center Festival 2002.
Photo Credit: © Stephanie Berger, All Rights Reserved

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