MERCE 100: PERFORMANCES
DEC 14-16 / 7:30PM
Velocity 1621 12th Ave
$20 ($25 at door) / $17 MVP Member / $15 under 25 (w/ ID) / $50 Patron

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Photo credit – Merce Cunningham in Solo. Photo by Jack Mitchell 1973.

This once-in-a-lifetime performance series will run nightly at 7:30PM at Velocity as part of Merce 100. All three nights will feature performances created by:

DONALD BYRD 
KATE WALLICH 
THOMAS HOUSE w/ KAYLA CASHETTA 
CHRISTIANA AXELSEN 
MAYA SONENBERG 
AMY J. LAMBERT 
DUSTIN + ELLA MAHLER 
DANIEL ROBERTS + DR. VICTORIA WATTS
LOUIS GERVAIS with MOLLY SIDES 

Though Cunningham spent the vast majority of his life in New York, the Pacific Northwest clearly had a lasting influence on his work. It was in Washington that Cunningham first became interested in the rhythms and movements in nature, and many of his titles like “Borst Park” (1972), “Inlets” (1977) and “Inlets 2” (1983) bear witness to the enduring power of the Northwest’s landscape in his imagination and process. In turn, Cunningham has influenced countless artists in the Seattle area not only as an icon, but personally as a teacher and mentor to a great many.

 

“I hadn’t felt that way since I saw the Alvin Ailey company for the first time. I just hope I have 30 more years to make work. Now I don’t dare to not take chances and risks. Do it the way Merce did it.” –Donald Byrd, Artistic Director of Spectrum Dance Theater

 

The diversity of disciplines and artists in the Merce 100 line-up reflects Cunningham’s monumental and far-ranging influence across the arts. The night features several world premieres, including brand new original scores by National Sawdust award-winning composer Kayla Cashetta and local composer and musician Dustin Mahler; new choreographic works by Seattle darlings Ella Mahler, Amy J Lambert, Christiana Axelsen, and Donald Byrd; and a rollicking piece of experimental choreography by Louis Gervais called “Merce Bingo,” in which Thunderpussy frontwoman Molly Sides “spins the cage” to see if the audience can get to “M-E-R-C-E.”

 The star-packed evening will also feature a very special re-staging of Merce Cunningham’s Totem Ancestor, Merce’s famous solo performed along a diagonal, and one of the few pieces of Cunningham choreography to be recorded in Labanotation. This is a rare and intimate opportunity to see former Cunningham Company member Daniel Edwards Roberts perform this work, in collaboration with Laban expert and Cornish College of the Arts Dance Chair Victoria Watts. Roberts + Watts offer the performance in context with commentary on its history as a vital and influential piece of 20th Century choreography.

PRAISE FOR THE ARTISTS

“Spectrum Dance Theater’s new evening-length work, “(Im)PULSE,” opens at fever pitch and never lets up. It’s fueled by love, fear, fury and bewilderment. Mixing dance, text, music and video projections, it’s a breakneck production that features choreographer Donald Byrd at his edgiest.” –Michael Upchurch, The Seattle Times

“charismatic lead singer Molly Sides commanded the stage with her powerful pipes and the incredible physicality of her performance.” –Kayleigh Hughes, Austin 360 

“[Amy J Lambert] channels technical rigor and a playful sense of humor into her own works and her many collaborations across the dance and theater worlds.”City Arts

“Thomas House is an eccentric wonder, delivering tilts, ripples and curlicue extensions of his limbs that half-resemble mime or sign language in their specificity.” – Michael Upchurch, The Seattle Times


This program is part of the Merce Cunningham Centennial.

Centennial Community Porgrams are generously supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Major funding for the Centennial is provided by the Merce Cunningham Trust, the Paul L. Wattis Foundation, American Express and Judith Pisar. 

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