To appreciate what a force Merce Cunningham was in his time, just look at everyone he collaborated with: composers such as John Cage, Conlon Nancarrow, and Radiohead, and visual artists such as Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jasper Johns. This year happens to mark both the 100th anniversary of the choreographer’s birth and the 10th anniversary of his death. (The latter occasion falls next week.) To celebrate his achievements, Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth are collaborating on a Modern Dance Festival that looks back on his career.
This weekend, Tamsin Carlson comes to perform the same Cunningham solos that she learned for a celebration of this kind in L.A. The Modern will also hold a screening of Brazos River, a dance film made in Fort Worth in 1976 by one of Cunningham’s star pupils, Viola Farber. Then next weekend, a bevy of dance companies from as far away as South Florida will be here to perform both Cunningham’s works and new pieces that pay tribute to his legacy. The museum will also host lectures and talks about that legacy and where it leads. If you’re interested in modern dance at all, the festival is a once-in-a-lifetime event.
The Modern Dance Festival runs thru Jul 27 at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St, FW. Admission is free. Call 817-922-0944.