merce cunningham

Merce Cunningham’s amazing performance ! I went it last wednesday 27th of October at the barbican theatre, part of the dance umbrella festival (London). EXPERIMENTAL!

Merce Cunningham’s performance “Nearly Ninety” it is an outstanding show of visual and audio possibilities.  The first act consists on half stage being used, with a gauze on the middle. The lights behind the screen create shadows so strong and mysterious allowing our perception to understand that there is something big behind the screen, which is moving, because the shadows are moving. Suddenly projections ( by Franc Aleu) of geometric futuristic forms start to appear creating together with the shadows (and the occasional silhouettes of the musicians) a doubt on the audience, without knowing if the shadows are from the lights, which are moving, or an object moving, or if the shadows are projections as well. The dancers, with futuristic costumes and minimal movements, dancing with this background create another reality, the idea that we – the audience – are in another planet.

But the best comes with the second act, when the stage is completely revealed, showing a weird  enormous architectural installation as the set design, in which the musicians stay inside, playing live. Some projection screens go down, and a live projection of the experimental musician Takehisha Kosugi experimenting sounds with the movement of nails inside a pan could be seen.

In this moment I could feel the background of the Cunningham/Cage collaborations, and how they succeeded on experimenting with the audience perception mixing sound, image and dance into an experimental, improvisation piece, giving the term multimedia the biggest meaning ever.

 

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