Merce Cunningham

January 12, 1957

Country of Origin United States
Description Returning three years after their last BAM engagement, Cunningham and co. presented seven recent pieces set to music by John Cage, Erik Satie, Christian Wolff, and Earle Brown. The evening closed with 1956’s “Nocturnes,” which featured the stage design of Robert Rauschenberg (who was appointed artistic director of the company in 1954). Cunningham’s archivist, David Vaughn, writes that “Rauschenberg divided the stage into two areas: the main space, which was open and flooded with light, and on stage left at the rear a scrim through which dancers could be dimly seen, as in the final image of Cunningham jumping up and down like a moth at a window screen. The dancers’ basic costume was white tights, with white leotards for the women and white shirts for the men. Rauschenberg designed make-up for the men, with one side of the face painted white and the other a color (red, yellow, or blue). The women wore fantastic headdresses.”     
Identifier 1957s.02125
Season 1956-1957
VenueCarey Playhouse (Music Hall, BAM Rose Cinema)
artistic directorRobert Rauschenberg
composerJohn Cage
musical directorJohn Cage
musicianDavid Tudor