Over the course of the spring semester, rehearsal directors spanning three generations of Merce Cunningham Dance Company alumni will work with YDT members on the reconstruction of Cunningham dances. Directors Jennifer Goggans, Meg Harper, Patricia Lent, and Neil Greenberg will stage a fifteen-minute excerpt of ROARATORIO, a dance that premiered in Lille, France in 1983, with music by John Cage. Additionally, they will create a minEvent, an assembly of choreographic excerpts from the 1970s, 80s, 90s, and 00s.
Through these reconstructions, YDT will investigate the layers of generational knowledge that constitute the Cunningham legacy. Our research focuses on how the shifting interests and methods of a choreographer over time impact dance preservation. What are the differences and overlaps in Cunningham’s approach to choreography over a forty-year span? How did his work with dancers in the studio change over time? How might a “multi-vocal” approach that synthesizes generational knowledge posit a new model for dance reconstruction?