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Merce Cunningham at 100

Thursday, October 3, 2019 - Saturday, October 5, 2019

Contemporary Dance Merce Cunningham at 100

To open our contemporary dance season, the Kennedy Center joins the global centennial celebration of one of the most important figures in modern dance, icon Merce Cunningham. Compagnie Centre National de Danse Contemporaine-Angers presents two Cunningham masterworks, Beach Birds and BIPED.

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Beach Birds
BIPED
Robert Swinston: Compagnie Centre National de Danse Contemporaine-Angers

“A triumphant outpouring of pure dance invention”The New York Times

To open our contemporary dance season, the Kennedy Center joins the global centennial celebration of one of the most important figures in modern dance, icon Merce Cunningham. Throughout his seven-decade career, Cunningham incorporated intense physicality and technological advancements in his work, flooding the field with never-before-seen innovation that reverberated around the world. His creations often pulled from music, visual art, and film to expand the boundaries of performance. Starting his career as a disciple of the legendary Martha Graham, Cunningham too stands as one of the founders of modern dance. His life and work have inspired countless artists, and his legacy will live on for decades to come.

Robert Swinston, who danced for Cunningham and worked side-by-side with him for over 17 years, now leads Compagnie Centre National de Danse Contemporaine-Angers, keeping Cunningham’s brilliant flame alive with dancers of today. CNDC-Angers performs two Cunningham masterworks: Beach Birds premiered in 1991 and transforms the movements of a flock of birds into dance. Created in 1999, BIPED unites technology and performance by incorporating projections of animated images superimposed on dancers.

Performance Timing: Part One - 25 min.; Intermission - 20 min.; Part Two - 45 min.

Learn more about Merce Cunningham's life and legacy. 

Join a pre-performance talk Oct. 3 beginning at 7 p.m. in the theater, free with your performance ticket. 
Dancers, choreographers, composers, creative team members, and/or other artists offer insight into the performance and a chance to ask questions!

Watch and Listen

"BIPED" Trailer | Merce Cunningham at 100 at The Kennedy Center