The Adrienne Arsht Center. Merce Cunningham Dance Company: The Legacy Tour

Dec 2nd through Dec 4th, 2010.

altThe Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County is thrilled to announce the return of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company as part of the John S. and James L. Knight Masterworks Season , Sanford and Dolores Ziff Signature Dance Series to premiere a special performance installation which will transform the stage of the Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House with dancers on three different performance levels and audience members free to move about the stage — just inches from the dancers! The Merce Cunningham Dance Company Miami appearance is part of the iconic choreographer’s posthumous two-year Legacy Tour, honoring Cunningham’s astounding body of work and remarkable contribution to American modern dance and culture. The Merce Cunningham Dance Company will present this unique performance honoring the extraordinary artistic collaboration between Cunningham, Cage, and Rauschenberg, and created especially for this Adrienne Arsht Center engagement. The Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s engagement will also feature a new, site-specific installation by Cunningham’s most recent artistic collaborator, Miami/New York visual artist Daniel Arsham. All performances will include live music, featuring members of Sonic Combine, the Captiva-based trio famous for their work with Rauschenberg, and here performing with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company for the first time.

“It is a tremendous honor for the Adrienne Arsht Center to host this dynamic, unique performance installation, honoring the monumental body of work of one of the greatest artists of our time,” said M. John Richard, president and CEO of the Adrienne Arsht Center. “The innovation and creativity that the Merce Cunningham Dance Company has embodied for more than 60 years will come to life in great dramatic form as the full company presents a performance unparalleled in originality – inviting all of South Florida to experience the work of this creative master from a rare, intimate perspective.”

The Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s debut performance at the Adrienne Arsht Center three years ago featured the company in its full glory, performing a world premiere plus several of Cunningham’s stunning, signature repertory works. Now, the company returns as part of the historic Legacy Tour, defying traditional performance expectations in typical Cunningham fashion, and inviting the audience onto the stage to experience the performance in an unforgettably intimate fashion. This special 30-minute performance installation will transform the stage with three large, multi-level sets where all 14 dancers will perform simultaneously. Audience members will have the opportunity to move freely throughout the space, experiencing the performance from every angle and perspective.

The Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s special Miami performance installation will pay homage to the groundbreaking, multi-disciplinary collaboration between Cunningham, composer John Cage, and visual artist Robert Rauschenberg. Unique to this Merce Cunningham Dance Company engagement, dancers will wear original Rauschenberg costumes from the Cunningham/Rauschenberg work Interscape (2000) for every performance. In a nod to Cunningham’s most recent artistic collaboration, celebrated Miami/New York visual artist Daniel Arsham will create a special, site-specific installation in the Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House for the duration of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company engagement.

The Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s performances at the Adrienne Arsht Center will feature live musical accompaniment for every show featuring members of Sonic Combine. Based in Captiva, FL, the trio is well known for their work with Rauschenberg, and is now set to appear live in performance with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company for the very first time.

Founded in 1953, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company has had an unparalleled impact on American culture. A visionary, groundbreaking choreographer, Merce Cunningham worked at the forefront of the avant-garde for more than sixty years, and is widely respected as one of the most important choreographers of all time. With his radical approach to space, time, and technology, Cunningham forged a distinctive style and vocabulary which has influenced all disciplines of performing and visual arts for more than half a century. His collaborations with pioneering artists broke boundaries and redefined possibilities for multi-disciplinary work. In the years surrounding 1950 at Black Mountain College, near Asheville, North Carolina, Cunningham, Cage, and Rauschenberg began a life-long artistic association, revolutionizing modern visual and performing arts, pioneering radical new techniques and approaches that represent the cutting-edge of avant-garde work to this day.

Coinciding with the tremendous artistic energy surrounding Miami’s Art Basel, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company performs at the Adrienne Arsht Center on December 2 at 7 p.m.; on December 3 at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.; and on December 4 at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Adrienne Arsht Center
1300 Biscayne Boulevard
Miami, FL 33132
305.949.6722
www.arshtcenter.org

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