P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2000
August 28, 2000
Merce Cunningham Dance Company Returns to the Berkshires
(September 19, 2000 -- North Adams, MA) MASS MoCA and Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival co-present the work of Merce Cunningham, legendary modern dance choreographer.The Merce Cunningham Dance Company performs the New England premiere of the technological masterpiece BIPED.
BIPED combines virtual dancers and images with "live" dancers onstage to create an amalgam of hi-tech artistry. The company last performed at the Pillow in 1998 and presented a "Work in Progress." That "Work in Progress" evolved into the company's well-known BIPED, which premiered in 1999 at Lincoln Center. Created by Shelley Eshkar and Paul Kaiser, who also created Ghostcatching with Bill T. Jones, which was exhibited at MASS MoCA last summer, the virtual imagery adds yet another layer to Cunningham's experimental choreography.
Also on the program is Summer Space, originally choreographed in 1958 for the Company and reset on the New York City Ballet in 1966. Summer Space incorporates costumes and scenery designed by Robert Rauschenberg whose ¹ Mile or 2 Furlong Piece was also exhibited at MASS MoCA last year.
Mr. Cunningham has choreographed nearly 200 works for his 47-year old company and been performing for over 60 years. He began his career with Martha Graham as one of her first male soloists. Mr. Cunningham is well-known for his incorporation of multimedia effect in his works and utilizing new technology in the creation of new works, such as using the computer program LifeForms to choreograph. He has received numerous awards including the National Medal of Arts (1990), the Kennedy Center Honors (1985), the Laurence Olivier Award (London, 1985), and the Isadora Duncan Award for Lifetime Achievement in Dance (1999).
In addition to performances, audiences are invited to learn more about Mr. Cunningham and his Merce Cunninghan Dance Company during "An Evening With Merce Cunningham" on Thursday, October 26. David Vaughn, Merce Cunningham Dance Company Archivist, hosts the evening's event. Also Kaiser and Eshkar present an inside look at the motion capture technology used to create virtual images in BIPED in "The Making of BIPED" on Saturday, October 28 at 5pm.
PERFORMANCE AND TICKET INFORMATION: Evening performances of Merce Cunningham Dance Company are Friday, October 27 and Saturday, October 28 at 8:00pm. Tickets are $36 orchestra/$28 mezzanine. "An Evening with Merce Cunningham" is Thursday, October 26, at 8pm. "The Making of BIPED is at 5pm on Saturday, October 28. Tickets for either of these two events are $5. Tickets for all events can be purchased by calling the MASS MoCA Box Office at (413) 662-2111 or ordering online at www.massmoca.org. MASS MoCA is located in North Adams, Mass. at the intersection of Routes 2 and 8.
A BIT OF BACKGROUND: Jacob's Pillow and MASS MoCA are partners presenting Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Last year Jacob's Pillow and MASS MoCA co-presented STREB Ringside.
FUNDING: Support for the presentation of Merce Cunningham Dance Company at MASS MoCA is provided by Lila Wallace÷Reader's Digest Fund. Major funders for Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival is provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency; the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; The Shubert Foundation; the Harkness Foundation for Dance; The Prospect Hill Foundation; other private foundations; Berkshire businesses; and Jacob's Pillow members.
General support of the MASS MoCA 2000 season is provided in part by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency; the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Dept. of Economic Development/Office of Travel and Tourism; the Fund for Adams of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation; Ellis L. Phillips Family Foundation; the national Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; The Robert Lehman Foundation; the LEF Foundation; the Peter Norton Family Foundation; the Brownrigg Trust in memory of Lynn Laitman; Jack and Jane Fitzpatrick; Nancy Fitzpatrick and Lincoln Russell; Allan and Judy Fulkerson; Jane and Taylor Briggs; Carmela and Paul Haklisch; the High Meadow Foundation; the Bari Lipp Initiative for Dance; and Philip Scaturro.
For Immediate Release