Celebrating the Merce Cunningham Centennial - Modern Dance Festival
  • July 12, 2019 - 6:30pm

Performance of Dance and Music
Presented by Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth  

The Texas New Music Ensemble (Houston) will be highlighted, with Dallas flautist Meg Griffith performing works by TNME composers:  Chad Robinson (TNME Artistic Director), Joel Love, Till Meyn, Marcus Maroney, and Rob Smith.  Smith will premiere a new work in a Cage-Cunningham-type collaboration with Loris Anthony Beckles (Beckles Dancing Company, Dallas).  Pairings will include experiments in simultaneity of art forms with guest choreographers/dancers performing to works they have not previously heard, including appearances by Collette Stewart (Madison, WI), Tina Mullone (LA/TX), Jessica Thomas (Celina, TX), and Mysti Jace Pride (Austin).  Additional works include an original duet by Julia Nova Cognito and her husband James Cognito blending ideas from the ballroom dance world with inspiration from Merce Cunningham’s work “Duets”; and Jordan Fuchs’ (Denton) presentation of a segment of his 2019 work Once We Were Afraid of Being Changed. That is Done. with sound score by Andy Russ (Providence, former Music Supervisor for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company).  The program will close with Echoes of 4’33”: To Perform Or Not To Perform, That Is The Question, Asked and Partially Answered in about 10 minutes, Give or Take a Bit -- a whimsical structured improvisation in honor of John Cage designed by CD/FW artistic director Kerry Kreiman, variations of this framework will “not” be performed by volunteers from the audience and various human beings with or without previous non-performing experience.  This non-performance is in honor of composer John Cage’s controversial work 4’33” which premiered in 1952, and which instructs the performer(s) not to play their instrument(s) throughout the piece. This playful tribute will shift from a non-performance to some impromptu “noise music” for the un-grand finale.

Merce Cunningham. Photo by Annie Leibovitz 1997. Image courtesy of the Merce Cunningham Trust, all rights reserved.