Review Of "Merce Cunningham: Common Time" Edited By F. Meade And J. Rothfuss

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Published by Minneapolis’s Walker Art Center in conjunction with Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art to accompany an exhibition of the same title, this volume is the first work since Cunningham’s death (2009) to comprehensively explore his seven-decade career. The construction of the title references the term Cunningham and composer John Cage employed advocating for flexibility in the relationships among movement, sound, and visual art. The import and impact of Cunningham’s practice of cross-disciplinary collaboration is discussed in 12 essays and four in-depth interviews. These offer the perspectives of art curators and historians, composers, dancers, dance critics, and historians, as well as those of Cunningham and Cage. Each contributor helps construct a narrative that places Cunningham and his collaborators at the forefront of radical avant-garde art practices in the US and abroad starting in the post–WW II period and continuing into the 21st century. The text is enriched by an abundance of color and black-and-white photographs and illustrations that span Cunningham’s career. Five appendixes chronicle his choreography for stage and camera, the dancers in his company, and his collaborations with composers, visual artists, and designers. This intelligently produced volume will be invaluable to all with a serious interest in dance, music, and the visual arts. Summing Up: Essential. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals.


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