Directed by Alla Kovgan
“Immersive and enthralling.”—Sarah Ward, Screen International
Cunningham traces Merce Cunningham’s artistic evolution over three decades of risk and discovery (1944 – 1972), from his early years as a struggling dancer in postwar New York to his emergence as one of the world’s most visionary choreographers. The film weaves together Cunninghams’s philosophies and stories, creating a visceral journey into his innovative work. A breathtaking explosion of dance, music, and never-before-seen archival material, Cunningham is a timely tribute to one of the world’s greatest modern dance artists.
Cunningham broke boundaries through his collaborations with his visual arts contemporaries such as Andy Warhol who produced a stage set complete with floating silver mylar balloons for the dance Rain Forest, Robert Rauschenberg’s white box covered with damp green branches for Nocturnes, Bruce Nauman’s assemblage of electric fans at the front of the stage through which the audiences watched the performance of Tread, and Frank Stella’s brilliantly colored canvas panels for Scramble. Cunningham’s works also were informed by the chance and scores of avant-garde composers like David Tudor from Rainforest Version 1 and John Cage who created watery gurgles for Inlets. 2019, U.S., DCP, 93 minutes. Rated PG.