The Spring Quarter will start off packed with exciting events for the UW Department of Dance as it takes part in the international celebration of Merce Cunningham’s Centennial. In collaboration with the Merce Cunningham Trust, the dance departments of Cornish College of the Arts and the University of Washington will host a two-week teaching residency for Merce Cunningham Dance Company alums, Douglas Dunn and Holley Farmer. The two acclaimed artists will guide composition students in both schools through an immersion in Cunningham’s innovated and influential practices in chance operations. Farmer and current MFA candidate in dance at the UW, Brian Lawson will also teach technique classes in Cunningham technique.
Students will showcase their original work created over the course of the two weeks at the informal performance, “Exploring the Creative Legacy of Merce Cunningham,” at the Henry Art Gallery on April 13th at 2PM. Traditional residencies usually involve company members setting choreography that already exists on students. Unique to this residency is that students will explore some of Cunningham’s most innovative and famous dance making structures, investigating first-hand methods to generate unexpected dances in the moment. In addition, the documentary, “If the Dancer Dances,” by former MCDC member Lise Friedman and Maia Wechsler, about the restaging of Cunningham’s work “Rainforest”, will be premiered at the Henry Art Gallery on April 11th at 7PM.