Legendary choreographer Merce Cunningham’s body of work stretched over seven decades until his death in 2009, and starting this fall, his enduring legacy will be recognized with an international celebration of what would be his 100th birthday. The Merce Cunningham Centennial will include an expansive slate of performances, film screenings, discussions and educational initiatives, in addition to original works inspired by his choreography.
Here are the not-to-miss events happening in New York City as part of the recently announced fall programming.
Cultural Medallion Ceremony
The Historic Landmarks Preservation Center will install a plaque at noon to honor Cunningham and his company’s 40-year residency at Westbeth. Speakers include former company dancers Carolyn Brown and Gus Solomons, Jr., Alastair Macaulay, Richard Kostelanatz, John Cage Trust director Laura Kuhn and Mikhail Baryshnikov. A reception will follow, with an open class offered at 3:30 p.m.
Second Avenue Dance Company “MinEvent”
Jack Crystal Theater, NYU, Manhattan
Sixteen students from the Second Avenue Dance Company will perform an arrangement by former company member Rashaun Mitchell. Original score composed by Jonathan Matthews.
Jorge Otero Pailos: “Répétiteur”
City Center, Harkness Studio, Manhattan
In conjunction with the 75th anniversary season at City Center, Jorge Otero-Pailos will present an immersive installation at the City Center’s Harkness Studio. The installation explores the generational transfer of choreographic material at the heart of dance.
Anthology Film Archives
One of Cunningham’s earliest filmed dances, the 1966 video will screen as part of an ongoing series featuring Cunningham’s film and videos at Anthology. Gus Solomons, Jr., will introduce the work and participate in a Q&A.
Barnard/Columbia Dances at New York Live Arts
New York Live Arts, Manhattan
Nov. 29-30 and Dec. 1
Arranged and staged by Jamie Scott and Dylan Crossman, the program, performed by Barnard and Columbia University students, will feature Cunningham choreography, in addition to new works by David Dorfman, Amy Hall Garner and Adrienne Truscott.