Wednesday, 29 July 2009

A Sad, Sad Day in the Art World -Merce Cunningham

The Art World is grieving the loss of one of the most influential contributors of modern dance and choreography. Merce* Cunningham (4/16/1919 to 7/26/2009) died of natural causes at the age of 90. Cunningham was a great inspiration in the Art World. I wish I could go on and on about his brilliance and his philosophies, but then it would turn into a research paper that nobody would want to read. I’m sure that a lot of younger people may not be able to identify Cunningham or be in touch with what he did, so I’ll try to briefly highlight some of his major ideas and beliefs while trying not to bore you all to death. He’s definitely an artist worth studying and, if you can, visit his website

*Merce?! Pronunciation, please: “MURSS”

Major Contributions to the Art World: Cunningham was considered an avant-garde dancer and choreographer who created dance primarily based on movement. His mission was to use movement as a way to go through and across space without the necessity of using a storyline.

Cunningham identified two principals of movement:
movement that is learned, studied, structured, classically styled, and used as language
2. movement that is invented and is constantly being invented

I was interested in dancing and I didn’t particularly care the kind of dancing. I was interested in information and trying to find out what made movement up. What is it? The fact that somebody said that it’s a ballet step or isn’t a ballet step didn’t seem to me to be terribly important of what was and still is important. -Cunningham, 2009.

The Cunningham Mission: Starting out as a tap dancer who later studied ballet and modern dance, Cunningham went through his lifetime searching the different ways to express the natural motions of dance that communicated art on another level.

If I didn't lose you and you would like to learn more about his views and philosophies of music, visual art, and dance, you can visit my blog at where you will also find more pictures of the artist.

Happy reading,

Leslie Ann

1 comment:

  1. at least he expressed himself to his full potential so it's not so bad :)