Merce Cunningham Dance Company (MCDC) presents the fifth in a series of eight signature, site-specific performances at Dia:Beacon titled Beacon Events. December’s Beacon Events will directly engage the work of John Chamberlain and an "L" shaped stage will be installed adjacent to his twisted steel sculpture The Privet, 1997. As with previous Events, viewers will be invited to walk around the gallery to experience Cunningham’s performance from different vantage points. The performances will be accompanied by an original live score developed specifically for the Event, and will be the only times the musicians and dancers come together in this setting.
Saturday, December 6, 2008, 2pm.
Sunday, December 7, 2008, 2pm
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, John Cage at Mountain Lake: Watercolors, Rocks, and Smoke. December 5—15, 2008, 11am—4pm in the Dia:Beacon bookshop library. Free with museum admission. The John Cage Trust presentation, John Cage at Mountain Lake: Watercolors, Rocks, and Smoke, will be a display of archive materials from the John Cage Trust and the Mountain Lake Workshop, a collaborative, community-based art project drawing on the customs, and the environmental and technological resources of the New River Valley and the Appalachian region. Specifically, the presentation will address Cage’s participation in the Mountain Lake Workshop where he created New River Watercolors in 1983, 1988, 1989 & 1990.
This presentation is co-curated by Laura Kuhn, the director of the John Cage Trust, and Ray Kass, founder and director of the Mountain Lake Workshop. Mr. Kass is also Professor Emeritus of Art at Virginia Tech, and author of John Cage: New River Watercolors, published by the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Richmond,VA.
Family Day: Dia and MCDC educators present Family Day during which families are led on a movement-based tour of various artworks in the museum. Participants will create dance "Events" based on their own observations. Children age 6 and above are encouraged to attend and must be accompanied by an adult. Sunday, December 7, 2008, 12pm. Free with museum admission; reservations are suggested, 845 440 0100 x33.
Costume Design Class. Monday, December 1, 2008, 1pm. Anna Finke, Wardrobe Supervisor for Merce Cunningham Dance Company, will lead a costume design class, exploring the connections she has made between her recent designs and the galleries the company has performed in. Participants will visit galleries in the museum and subsequently create sample designs in the Dia:Beacon Learning Lab, incorporating influences from Dia artists’ work and the architectural space. The program is limited to 20 adult participants. Free with museum admission. For reservations contact Sarah Bachelier at 845 440 0100 x33 or sbachelier @ diaart.org.
Merce Cunningham, one of the most influential figures in modern dance, presented his first New York solo concert with composer John Cage in April 1944. He established the Merce Cunningham Dance Company at Black Mountain College, in North Carolina in 1953, and has since choreographed nearly 200 works for MCDC. Many of these were created in collaboration with visual artists including Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Bruce Nauman, and Andy Warhol. MCDC always performs with live music, and since 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. The company tours internationally, and Mr. Cunningham and his collaborators have been the subject of major exhibitions and publications since the late 1960s.
Dia Art Foundation celebrates the fifth anniversary of Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries in 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, email@example.com or 212 293 5518