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Choreographer(s) : Cunningham, Merce (United States)
Cunningham said that the title refers to both meanings of the verb “fabricate”: to combine parts to form a whole, and to invent or concoct, even to lie. Continually inspired by the I Ching, Cunningham’s choreography for "Fabrications" utilized a chance process based on sixty-four phrases (sixty-four being the number of hexagrams in the Chinese book of changes).
Fabrications is an immensely dramatic piece, and the deep connections between the dancers can be seen throughout the performance. Brazilian composer Emanuel Dimas de Melo Pimenta wrote the music, which was mixed in performance by David Tudor. Dove Bradshaw’s costumes were dresses for the women, and shirts and trousers for the men. Her décor did not coincide with the “period” sense of the dance--a backdrop taken from medical and mathematical diagrams.
"Fabrications" was co-commissioned by the Walker Arts Center.
Born in Centralia, Washington on April 16, 1919, Cunningham began his career as a modern dancer at the age of 20, dancing for six years with the Martha Graham Dance Company. He presented his first recital in 1944, and formed the Merce Cunningham Dance Company in 1953. The company was a living canvas for his experimentation and the creation of his unusual pieces.
Over his long career he choregraphed more than 150 pieces and more than 800 Events. Many dancers studied and worked with Cunningham before founding their own companies, among them Paul Taylor, Trisha Brown, Lucinda Childs and Karole Armitage ... He collaborated with many artists; his collaboration with John Cage had the most influence on his practice.
Together Cunningham and Cage proposed a series of radical innovations in dance. The most famous and controversial of these dealt with the relationship between dance and music, able to co-exist in the same space and time but needing to be conceived independently of each other.
Cunningham continued to experiment and innovate throughout his life, and he was one of the first to use new technologies in his own art form. He choreographed and taught almost until the day he died, July 26, 2009, and received many awards and accolades. Cunningham’s life and work have inspired the publication of four books and three important exhibitions; several of his pieces have been presented by other prestigious companies such as American Ballet Theatre, the Ballet de Lorraine, the New York City Ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet, the Rambert Dance Company in London and the White Oak Dance Project.
Source: CCN-Ballet de Lorraine
More information: www.mercecunningham.org