Merce Cunningham: The Modernizing of Modern Dance

Front Cover
Psychology Press, 2004 - Choreographers - 304 pages
1 Review
Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified
Merce Cunningham and the Modernizing of Modern Dance is a complete study of the life and work of this seminal choreographer/dancer. More than just a biography, Copeland explores Cunningham's life story against a backdrop of an entire century of developments in American art. Copeland traces his own experience of Cunningham's dances-from the turbulent late '60s through the experimental works of the '80s and '90s-showing how Cunningham moved dance away from the highly emotional, subjective work of Martha Graham to a return to a new kind of classicism. This book places Cunningham in the forefront of an artistic revolution, a revolution that has its parallels in music (John Cage, and the minimalist composers who followed him), painting (Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg), theater (the "happenings" of the '60s), and dance itself (the Judson School of dancers). An iconclastic and highly readable analysis, this book will be enjoyed by all those interested in the development of the American arts in the 20th century.

What people are saying - Write a review

Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - matthewjpiper - LibraryThing

The only extant book-length, critical monograph about Cunningham's work, I recommend this to dance enthusiasts interested in a thoughtful orientation of his dances in the context of dance and art ... Read full review


The Sound of Perceptual Freedom
Cunningham Cage and Collage
Dancing for the Digital Age
The Gaze of Upright
Modernism Postmodernism and Cunningham
Dancing in the Aftermath of 911

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2004)

Roger Copeland is Professor of Theater and Dance at Oberlin College. He is coeditor of the widely used anthology What is Dance? His essays about dance, theater, and film have appeared in The New York Times, The NewRepublic, The Village Voice, and many other publications including The Encyclopedia of Dance and Ballet.

Bibliographic information