TRiBUTE TO MERCE CUNNiNGHAM

A TRiBUTE TO A ViSiONNARY ARTiST : MAY 2018 – JUNE 2020

BEACH BiRDS

“I had three things in mind: one was birds, obviously, or animals or whatever, but also humans on the beach and also one of the things that I love so much on shores – the way you are looking at a rock and you go around it, and it looks different each time, as though it were alive too. Those three images are part of what I worked at. In dividing the structures the way I always do, I used those three things as something to think about…”

Merce Cunningham

 

Cunningham said of his choreography for Beach Birds, “It is all based on individual physical phrasing. The dancers don’t have to be exactly together. They can dance like a flock of birds, when they suddenly take off.” A work for eleven dancers, the rhythm for Beach Birds was much more fluid than other Cunningham dances, so that the sections could differ in length from performance to performance. John Cage composed the music, and painter Marsha Skinner provided the costumes and décor. The dancers were dressed identically in all white leotards and tights, with black gloves. Skinner’s backcloth was a white scrim on which the light varied in color and intensity, decided by a lighting plot that was devised using chance methods. While the timings did not relate to the dance structure, the gradual changes of light have been interpreted to imitate those that might occur from dawn to dusk on a beach. Beach Birds was adapted for film and called Beach Birds for Camera.

28 minutes

Choreography Merce Cunningham

Reconstruction Robert Swinston

Music John Cage Four

Dancers (tbc) Marion Baudinaud, Stéphane Bourgeois, Anna Chirescu, Nicolas Diguet, Gianni Joseph, Haruka Miyamoto, Adrien Mornet, Catarina Pernao, Flora Rogeboz, Claire Seigle-Goujon, Lucas Viallefond

Costumes and lights Marsha Skinner

Courtesy of the Merce Cunningham Trust, the support of the John Cage Trust and Peters editions

 

BiPED

Newly recreated in 2018