Join us at 5:00 p.m. to kick off the 2011 Alabama Dance Festival with an Opening Reception and showing of the documentary film Merce Cunningham: A Lifetime of Dance by Charles Atlas. At 6:00 p.m., Sanspointe Dance Company presents Fuzión Dance Artists performing Kinda Cage-y, an homage to the late composer and thinker John Cage (1912-1992). This collaborative work with polyartist/ composer Francis Schwartz is based on similar principles of improvisation and chance that were employed by John Cage and Merce Cunningham. The work has now been shown worldwide and is part of the John Cage Trust. Following the performance, audience members are invited to observe the Merce Cunningham Technique class taught by Robert Swinston, MCDC’s Director of Choreography.
The Alabama Dance Council makes dance history by presenting Merce Cunningham Dance Company as part of the company’s final Legacy Tour and their first and only performance in Alabama. It is the last opportunity to see Merce Cunningham’s work performed by the dancers he personally trained. MCDC will perform three masterpieces from Cunningham’s prolific career that spanned more than sixty years: XOVER (2007), Crises (1960), and BIPED (1999). Patrons are invited to attend the pre-concert talk at 7:20 p.m., presented by Nancy Dalva, Writer/ Producer of the webcast series Mondays with Merce. Immediately following the performance, Ms. Dalva will moderate a discussion with the company’s artistic personnel and a Q&A session with the audience. Tickets are available at www.ticketmaster.com (online fees apply) or at the BJCC CENTRAL TICKET OFFICE. Special 7-day Merce ticket sale on January 20-26! You don’t want to miss these prices, so grab ’em while you can! Use special code “Merce.” Ticket prices: $67 now $37; $52 now $27; $37 now $19.50; and $22 now $12.
History Matters is a series of presentations providing a refreshing view of Merce Cunningham’s work, ideas, and influences. Saturday afternoon’s discussion includes historical background of the work Suite for Five (1956-58), with a focus on how Merce created this dance and how the present reconstruction came about. Merce Cunningham Dance Company members will perform sections of this landmark dance to further illuminate and inform the panel discussion. Excerpts of the dance will be performed and put into context with visual aids such as photos, notes and film clips. The distinguished panel includes Robert Swinston, Director of Choreography, and David Vaughan, MCDC Archivist and author of Merce Cunningham: Fifty Years. Tickets are available at www.ticketmaster.com (online fees apply) or at the BJCC CENTRAL TICKET OFFICE. Ticket prices: $22, $17, $10.