Changes, Notes on Choreography, by Merce Cunningham
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On the occasion of the Merce Cunningham Centennial, we are pleased to offer this special, limited edition reprint of Cunningham’s own unique presentation of his choreographic ideas Changes: Notes on Choreography.
Originally published in 1968 by Dick Higgins’ iconoclastic Something Else Press, the book can be viewed as a 170-page print version of an art performance piece. Just as Cunningham spent most of his career approaching choreography and movement in time and space from an original point of view, this book offers notes, images, and drawings of his work in a non-linear, non-traditional way. Taken together, they form a rich panorama of his ideas, work, and impulses, shown through a lens particular to the time and place of its initial publication.
This new edition, co-published with the Merce Cunningham Trust, coincides with nationwide events, presentations, and discussions about Cunningham, dance, and his influence on culture, and will introduce a new generation to one of the most original choreographers and artists of the 20th century.
Merce Cunningham (1919-2009) is widely considered to be one of the most important choreographers of all time. His approach to performance was groundbreaking in its ideological simplicity and physical complexity. In 1948, Cunningham began a relationship with the famed experimental institution Black Mountain College, where he first formed a dance company to explore his convention-breaking ideas. The Merce Cunningham Dance Company would remain in continuous operation until 2011, with Cunningham as Artistic Director until his death in 2009. Over the course of his career, Cunningham choreographed 180 dances and over 700 Events. With long-term collaborations with artists like Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Charles Atlas, and Elliot Caplan, Cunningham’s sphere of influence also extended deep into the visual arts world. Cunningham earned some of the highest honors bestowed in the arts, and his dances have been performed by groups including the Paris Opera Ballet, New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, White Oak Dance Project, the Lyon Opera Ballet, Ballett am Rhein, and London’s Rambert.