Jun 09, 2008

Merce Cunningham Dance Company (MCDC) performs the fourth in a series of eight performances at Dia:Beacon titled Beacon Events. As with past Beacon Events, the July performance will directly engage artworks and will be the only time the musicians and dancers come together. This fourth Beacon Event will take place in the gallery devoted to Richard Serra’s monumental steel sculptures. Two stages, one on either end of the gallery, will be connected by a long boardwalk. The train-shed doors on either end of the gallery will be raised, giving the audience a view of Robert Irwin’s west garden. Each of the four musicians will play inside one of Mr. Serra’s three Torqued Ellipses, and his torqued spiral 2000, without seeing each other or the dancers, creating a unique relationship among sound, space, and movement. As with the previous Events, viewers are invited to walk around the space to experience the performance from different vantage points.

Saturday, July 5, 2008, 2pm.
Sunday, July 6, 2008, 2pm and 4:30pm

Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries
3 Beekman Street, Beacon, NY

MCDC’s Hudson Valley Project, in partnership with Dia Art Foundation, Bard College, and The John Cage Trust at Bard College, has been made possible, in part, through major support from The New York State Music Fund, established by the New York State Attorney General at Rockefeller Philanthropic Advisors. Additional support has been provided by Melissa and Robert Soros, The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, The Harkness Foundation for Dance, and through public support from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.

John Cage Reading Room, Cage in the Social Realm and Lecture on the Weather, 1975: Cage in the Social Realm will present archival materials from the John Cage Trust, from Thursday July 3 through Monday July 12, 2008, in the Dia:Beacon Bookshop Library. Open during regular museum hours, 11am-6pm, Thursday-Monday. Lecture on the Weather will comprise a 2007 audio presentation of a performance of John Cage’s 1975 composition of this name. It features the voices of Merce Cunningham, Jasper Johns, John Ashbery, and others. Thursday July 3 through Sunday July 6, 2008, at 12pm outside on the Robert Irwin deck, weather permitting. Free with museum admission.

Family Day: MCDC and Dia’s education program present Family Day, a movement-based tour of various artworks in the museum. Participants will create their own dance "Events" based on their observations. Children age 6 and above are encouraged to attend and must be accompanied by an adult. Sunday July 6, 2008, 12pm. Free with museum admission, reservations are suggested, 845.440.0100 x33.

Merce Cunningham, one of the most influential figures in modern dance presented his first New York solo concert with John Cage in April 1944. He has choreographed nearly 200 works for the company, which he established at Black Mountain College, in North Carolina, in 1953. Many of these were created in collaboration with visual artists, including Robert Rauschenberg. Beginning with Trackers, of 1991, Mr. Cunningham has used the computer program DanceForms in all of his choreography. MCDC celebrated its 50th anniversary in its 2002—03 season, beginning with performances at the 2002 Lincoln Center Festival, in New York City, and ending in the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival in October 2003, when Split Sides, a new work with music by two rock bands, Radiohead and Sigur Rós, was presented.

Dia Art Foundation celebrates the fifth anniversary of Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries in May 2008. Dia:Beacon presents Dia Art Foundation’s distinguished collection of art from the 1960s to the present, including Bernd and Hilla Becher, Joseph Beuys, Louise Bourgeois, John Chamberlain, Walter De Maria, Dan Flavin, Michael Heizer, Robert Irwin, Donald Judd, On Kawara, Imi Knoebel, Sol LeWitt, Agnes Martin, Bruce Nauman, Blinky Palermo, Gerhard Richter, Robert Ryman, Fred Sandback, Richard Serra, Robert Smithson, Andy Warhol, and Lawrence Weiner.

Situated on the banks of the Hudson River in Beacon, New York, and easily accessible by train or car, the museum occupies a former Nabisco box-printing facility, which was renovated by Dia with artist Robert Irwin and architect OpenOffice. Dia:Beacon’s expansive galleries comprise 240,000 square feet of exhibition space illuminated by natural light. The museum houses works by a focused group of some of the most significant artists of the last half century. The museum also presents temporary exhibitions, as well as diverse public programs designed to complement the collection and exhibitions.

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For additional information or materials contact:
Press Department, Dia Art Foundation, or 212 293 5518

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