Like most of Mr. Cunningham’s works, it depicts no dramatic situation, yet is rich in atmosphere. A quiet dance to a score by John Cage that consists of soft, gurgling sounds, Inlets 2 evokes the peace of bodies of water.
Serenity was established at the outset when women stepped slowly on stage. In contrast, the men often moved with wide strides. Alan Good even loped as if his bare feet wore invisible seven-league boots. But quick phrases usually led to moments of calm. Because new actions were constantly born from such moments, repose never implied inertia. Things were always happening. Yet they happened in their own good time.

The New York Times, 5 March 1988

Inlets 2 is the successor to Inlets, and premiered on the same bill as its companion piece, Roaratorio in 1983. Both Inlets and Inlets 2 employ the use of chance operations to determine the order of 64 movements, and are two of Merce’s best-known nature studies. The choreography is commonly considered to be about the climate and topography of the Northwest: Cunningham was raised in Centralia, Washington and frequently utilizes aspects of nature in his work – and the titles (Inlets and Inlets 2) evoke the landscape of Puget Sound. The music is Cage’s original score for Inlets; Mark Lancaster designed new costumes for Inlets 2 – leotards and tights in gray, blue, or brown, over which some of the women wear tulle skirts.


20 minutes
Choreography Merce Cunningham
Reconstruction Robert Swinston
Music John Cage Inlets (1977)
Dancers Anna Chirescu, Adrien Mornet, Catarina Pernao, Flora Rogeboz, Carlo Schiavo, Claire Seigle-Goujon, Lucas Viallefond
Original décor, costumes, lighting Mark Lancaster

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