Merci Merce!

Posted: March 1, 2008 in dance

merce-cunningham.jpg“My work–or at least what I attempt to do–is to take each person for what they are.”– Merce Cunningham

*Cunningham, Merce. [Photograph]. Retrieved document.March2,2008, from Britannica Student Encyclopedia,

my friend ted limpoco who’s now based in florida just recently sent me dance dvds that feature three modern dance legends: martha graham, merce cunningham and jose limon, plus he also included in the package zizek’s “pervert’s guide to cinema,” which i have been waiting for a long time. when the package arrived this week, i literally jumped up in glee somewhere in the atrium of the University, to my students’ dismay. in the age of e-mails and, there’s nothing cooler these days than receiving gifts through snail-mail or postal service. and of course, there’s nothing more exciting than receiving videos for free. *wink*

although i have written before that i am presently in love with limon’s and humphrey’s “falling and recovery” technique, i am also obsessed with merce cunningham’s visionary style of modern or postmodern dance. described as dadaist or sometimes zen in nature, merce cunningham’s works defy the constrictions of his time so that when you watch his works now, you would feel like it is meant to be danced today, in the 21st century.

among merce’s many contributions to the field of dance is the use of multimedia in dance and the genre of dance for the camera. not only that, he is also considered as one of the pioneers fo happening art or what is normally called as performance art. i am amazed, indeed. my sister rose and i after watching the video about his works the night before, spent an hour talking endlessly abotu merce’s genius. at the end of the day, i realized that i haven’t gushed about an artist like that in a long time.

merce is an artist’s artist. the kind any artist dreams to be–cavalier, revolutionary, visionary and both cerebral and sublime. because every artist dreams to push the envelop one way or another. merce did that with dance. you wish you could do that with anything else too.

this quote by merce sums up everything i believe what dance is all about these days:

“You have to love dancing to stick to it. It gives you nothing back, no manuscripts to store away, no paintings to show on walls and maybe hang in museums, no poems to be printed and sold, nothing but that single fleeting moment when you feel alive. It is not for unsteady souls.”–Merce Cunningham

thanks again ted for the gift. 🙂

to view merce cunningham’s works, click here.

  1. ted says:

    Claire! Was just wondering whether you got the stuff na. I’m glad you enjoyed them. Was I able to include Amargosa?

  2. reefer says:

    yes! i got amargosa too. 🙂 thanks a lot. i had so much fun with pervert’s guide also.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s