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Technology, philosophy, randomness – how Merce Cunningham pushed dance to its limits

Widely considered the most influential dance artist of the 20th century, the US dancer and choreographer Merce Cunningham (1919-2009) possessed an inexhaustible drive for experimentation that forever reshaped his medium, and contemporary art itself. By testing the limits of dance through technological innovation, collaborations across mediums and even employing the concept of randomness to power his works, Cunningham both expanded and eroded his art form’s boundaries. This video from the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota explores six aspects to Cunningham’s 70-year career, from dance maker, collaborator and chance taker, to innovator, film producer and teacher, to put his influence and legacy in context.

21 December 2021

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