Friday, 20 June 2008

Visual Choreography Notes

These pages from his book Changes: Notes on Choreography by Merce Cunningham are fantastic visual thinking explorations of dance space. These wonderful pages of red topographic movement and complimentary weaving lines of type notes are great explorations of the notebook spread themselves.

They are very similar in style to the spreads from Kurt Schwitters & Theo Van Doesburg in 1920 - 30's De Stijl or even Dada from Picabia. Very abstract compositions with varying line qualities and shapes.

Merce Cunningham is one of the most influential and innovative choreographers of the twentieth century. His works, such as Summerspace (1958), are in the repertoire of internationally celebrated companies, including the New York City Ballet, the Paris Opéra, Zurich Ballet, and Rambert Dance Company, among others. Along with John Cage, Cunningham collaborated with other contemporaries, including Jaspar Johns, Andy Warhol, David Tudor, Frank Stella and Robert Rauschenberg.

Cunningham is not interested in narrative and character development; his choreography investigates the formal elements of dance. Cunningham and Cage shared the belief that movement and music are equal. Accordingly, they created the choreography and music separately in their collaborations.

Merce Cunningham Info Source:

Image Source: Cunningham, Merce and Frances Starr, ed. Changes: Notes on Choreography. New York: Something Else Press, 1968 featured in Creative Reviews - March 08 - p42.

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