Monday, January 02, 2012

Goodbye to Merce Cunningham Dance Company - twitter round-up

Merce Cunningham Dance Company at Park Avenue Armory. From @ParkAveArmory 's feed.

As per the wishes of its late founder, the mighty Merce Cunningham, his dance company closed shop two years after his death. Its final performance was in New York City, at Park Avenue Armory.

No need to say it was a piece of dance history and I would have loved to have been there.  I bagged a last minute ticket to the final London performance, and the audience's reaction was thunderous. I can't imagine what it must have been like in the company's home town - the LA Times reports a 10-minute ovation.

While in London we were treated to three different programmes, these performances 'included portions of 24 Cunningham dances representing five decades. From various vantage points — including six elevated platforms that offered a panoramic perspective on all three stages — one could marvel at dances ranging from the wildly feral to the privately meditative' says Susan Reiter in the same LA Times review. Which sounds pretty fantastic.!/lawsonwhite/status/153262862381494273/photo/1 shows the view from one of the balconies onto one of the stages, with people standing around.

As Devin Alberda from New York City Ballet tweeted: 'loved MCDC at Armory. Multi-stage? Experiential? Ambulatory viewing? Yes please. I'm getting it...'

So I wasn't there, but luckily there is always Twitter to see people's reactions! Here is a round-up of tweets, including some pics of the final bows.

 Bill Bragin 

Final final curtain call for  cunningham dance co. So moved to be here. Thanks. 

 Cameron Silver 

The end of an era with the final performance of the MerceCunningham Company NYE NYC 2021 

 Micha Merrick 

Electrified performance at the Merce Cunningham finale 

 Lian Chang 

Merce Cunningham dance company taking their final bow -- bittersweet ... 

 Marley Jay 

Thank you for an unforgettable performance and goodnight, MerceCunningham company. 

 Steve Smith 

An era ends as the Merce Cunningham Dance Company takes its final bow at . Just gorgeous.

Final word to the Bolshoi and American Ballet Theatre's dancer David Hallberg.

 David Hallberg 
Perched above 3 stages, watching 50 min of roughly 18 ballets from 1950 to 2009, I watched Merce Cunningham's co. say goodbye. Unreal.

Yes it must have felt a bit unreal to see this, 'an extraordinary artistic act of self-immolation' (New York Review of Books) but the legacy will leave on, let's hope!

Other reads & listens:
WNYC radio has some audio coverage of Cunningham's career on its website: Saying Goodbye to the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.

Contemporary dance classes

This blog has been left dormant for too long.

Working for a big dance venue, I felt that I could not really write reviews about the shows presented there, and Twitter worked better to share videos or articles I enjoyed, so there wasn't much to mention on here.

But I am hoping to write more in 2012, mainly because I will be taking beginner's contemporary dance classes, which I am very excited about and think it will make for some good posts! I will also try to blog more about flamenco, which I have been dancing for five years.

Happy new year everyone!