Merce Cunningham


From childhood tap dancing lessons to pioneering the integration of computers and dance (such as his webcast series Mondays with Merce), choreographer Merce Cunningham spent his whole life on the move. His work was defined by innovations, the most famous of which was his partnership with composer John Cage. The two men met when Cunningham was first beginning to create his own independent works and remained romantically and artistically involved for nearly fifty years until Cage passed away. As part of their collaboration the two pioneered a new relationship between music and dance that suited Cunningham’s abstract, narrative-less style: separating the two entirely to the point where Cunningham’s dancers would rehearse in silence. Their shared love of chance and Cunningham’s original steps were controversial, but the end result was a lifetime of accolades for Cunningham and posthumous recognition of his invaluable contributions to the modern dance scene.

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