Merce Cunningham: at the origins of contemporary dance | with Vito Di Bernardi


Who are the leading figures in the contemporary dance of the last 50 years? What influences and contaminations have there been with the world of contemporary art and architecture? What were the ideas that revolutionised the performance of dance?

Vito Di Bernardi, Patrizia Veroli, Francesca Pedroni, Maria Pia D’Orazi, Ada D’Adamo, Susanne Franco, Virgilio Sieni in conversation with the curator of the project Anna Lea Antolini, meet the MAXXI public to discuss in seven encounters the history of contemporary dance and to discover together the relationship between dance, architecture and art through video contributions from Cro.me. – Cronaca e Memoria dello Spettacolo of Milan and from the Historical Archive of the Romaeuropa Foundation.

First encounter
Merce Cunningham: at the origins of contemporary dance | with Vito Di Bernardi
Saturday 13 October, 11.00
MAXXI B.A.S.E., Graziella Lonardi Buontempo Room – admittance free
Undisputed pioneer of post-modern American dance, Merce Cunningham (Centralia, Washington, 1919) is, together with Pina Bausch, the most celebrated icon of contemporary choreography.
Cunningham has represented a point of departure and no return for dance, just as New Dada and Pop Art were for the visual arts and John Cage was for the music of the 20th Century.

During the encounter, Vito De Bernardi, associate professor of Theatrical Disciplines at the University of Siena, together with Anna Lea Antolini, will investigate the theme of movement understood as pure form that is renewed within the currency of performance; the happenings created by Cunningham, Cage and Rauschenberg in the Fifties and Sixties will be evoked, events characterised by principles of randomness, improvisation and the dissociation between sound and dance. Lastly, the seminar will see a reconstruction of the career of the American choreographer who liberated modern dance from any narrative and dramatic reference, opening it to the uninterrupted and undetermined flow of the movement of life.

Photo credit: Mark Seliger

Upcoming seminars:
11.00 – 13.00
10 November 2012 | Patrizia Veroli
12 January 2013 | Francesca Pedroni
9 February 2013 | Maria Pia D’Orazi
9 March 2013 | Ada D’Adamo
13 April 2013 | Susanne Franco
11 May 2013 | Virgilio Sieni

The Histories of Contemporary Dance is a Carolina Italiano project organized by Giulia Pedace.