IDFA - Cunningham
Alla Kovgan / US, 2019 / 93 min.
Merce Cunningham (1919-2009) didn’t like to be referred to as avant-garde, just as a dancer. The influential dancer and choreographer saw dance simply as a matter of “people moving around in various ways.” He also felt it shouldn’t be charged with meaning, but that interpretation should be left to the viewer.
This restraint contrasted sharply with Cunningham”s inexhaustible energy for exploration over his 70-year career. He merged elements from classical and modern dance, and because he thought any movement of the human body could be incorporated into dance, he believed that anyone could be a dancer.
In this documentary, Cunningham”s radical views and intense curiosity are captured inventively in words and images. Monologues and interviews with Cunningham and the people with whom he worked accompany an eclectic montage of archive footage and dance excerpts, which 3D technology makes all the more surprising.
We also frequently hear from the composer John Cage, in whom Cunningham found not only a professional soulmate, but also the love of his life.