Cunningham

Premiering at TIFF 2019

About Merce Cunningham

Merce Cunningham (1919-2009) was a world-renowned choreographer unequalled for innovation in both the 20th and 21st centuries. Merce persevered against all odds and developed a new dance technique and a new way of thinking in collaboration with seminal visual artists and composers such as John Cage (who was also his life partner), Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Frank Stella, and Andy Warhol. The Merce Cunningham Dance Company was founded in 1953 and disbanded in 2011 after Merce’s death. Throughout his seventy-year career, Merce choreographed more than 180 dances and over 700 “Events,” which combined excerpts from diverse works in novel contexts. Known for his experimentation with “chance operations,” he also worked with the cutting-edge technologies of his time—including film, video, TV, computer programming, and motion capture—to explore his work in different contexts. Merce’s story, commitment to innovation, and ideas continue to influence generations of artists and choreographers worldwide.