In Conversation with Cunningham & Cage presents a multifaceted conversation between music and dance, youth and maturity, and reconstruction and invention.

By: Sep. 29, 2022

Unavailable Memory: In Conversation with Cunningham & Cage is an evening of dance and music presenting Merce Cunningham's Totem Ancestor (1942) and Loops (1971) and six piano compositions by John Cage.

Presented in conversation with these historic works will be new choreography by four students from The Juilliard School, developed with mentorship from Rashaun Mitchell, a new sound composition by John King titled telemetries3 made in response to Gordon Mumma's original score for Loops (1971), and the world premiere of Tether by Bebe Miller Company. Co-Produced by The Merce Cunningham Trust, Unavailable Memory: In Conversation with Cunningham & Cage presents a multifaceted conversation between music and dance, youth and maturity, and reconstruction and invention.

Performance Details:
Unavailable Memory: In Conversation with Cunningham & Cage

Thursday, October 27, 2022 at 7:30pm
Friday, October 28, 2022 at 7:30pm
Saturday, October 29, 2022 at 7:30pm
Baryshnikov Performing Arts Center
Jerome Robbins Theater
450 West 37th Street
New York, NY 10018
Tickets: $25
Ticket link:

Unavailable Memory: In Conversation with Cunningham & Cage was conceived and curated by Patricia Lent and Adam Tendler expressly for these performances at Baryshnikov Arts Center.

Running time: 60 minutes

Totem Ancestor (1942)
Choreographer: Merce Cunningham
Music: John Cage, Totem Ancestor (1942)
Dancer: Mac Twining
Pianist: Adam Tendler
Stager: Daniel Madoff
Costume Designer: Charlotte Trowbridge
Lighting Designer: Davison Scandrett

Totem Ancestor was first performed by Merce Cunningham on October 20, 1942 at the HumphreyWeidman Studio Theatre in New York City. October 2022 marks the 80th anniversary of that premiere.

Totem Ancestor (1942) by Merce Cunningham © Merce Cunningham Trust. All rights reserved.

Loops for Three (1971/2022)
Choreographer: Merce Cunningham
Music: John King, telemetries3 (2022)
Dancers: Molissa Fenley, Justin Lynch, Chaery Moon
Musician: John King
Stager: Patricia Lent
Lighting Designer: Davison Scandrett

Loops was first performed by Merce Cunningham on December 3, 1971 at the Museum of Modern Art. The dance, which Cunningham described as "an event for a soloist" comprises a series of short task-like segments with names like Slap, Chair, Shuffle, Slide, etcetera. For this production, Patricia Lent has drawn on archival resources to make a new arrangement for three dancers entitled Loops for Three. The original music for Loops was Gordon Mumma's composition Loops: Biophysical and Ambient Signals from FM Telemetry. John King's new composition, telemetries3, is a continuation of Mumma's idea to use heartbeats and breathing as the sonic and rhythmic component of the work. In this new version, the material is tripled, interacting and coalescing in randomly determined ways, at times coming directly from the dancers and at other times overlapping in more complex relationships.

Loops (1971) by Merce Cunningham © Merce Cunningham Trust. All rights reserved.

Four World Premieres
Choreography: Connor Freeman, Matthew Johnson, Griffin Massey, Lindsay Phillips
Music: John Cage, A Valentine Out of Season (1944), Root of an Unfocus (1944), The Unavailable
Memory Of (1944), In the Name of the Holocaust (1942)
Dancers: Connor Freeman, Matthew Johnson, Griffin Massey, Lindsay Phillips
Pianist: Adam Tendler
Choreographic Mentor: Rashaun Mitchell
Lighting Designer: Davison Scandrett

These four prepared piano works by John Cage were the music for four early dances by Merce Cunningham. Cage's A Valentine Out of Season was the music for a trio Cunningham choreographed for Tanaquil LeClerq, Betty Nichols, and himself. The dance, called Effusions avant l'heure, was first performed on June 10, 1949 at Jean Hélion's Studio in Paris. Cage's Root of an Unfocus and The Unavailable Memory Of were the music for two Cunningham solos by the same titles which premiered on April 5, 1944 at the Humphrey-Weidman Studio in New York City. This was the first joint concert given by Cage and Cunningham. In the Name of the Holocaust (a word play by James Joyce on "In the name of the Holy Ghost") was the title used by Cage and Cunningham for a work they premiered on February 14, 1943 at The Arts Club of Chicago. Little is known about the original Cunningham choreography for these four dances aside from anecdotal accounts and a few images.

Bebe Miller Company Tether (World Premiere)
Dancers: Angie Hauser, Darrell Jones, Bebe Miller
Music: John Cage, Dream
Pianist: Adam Tendler

Tether is an improvised dance, sparked by curiosity about Cunningham and Cage's manner of exchange with each other and their collaborators, and the evidence of the tethers they have left behind. Featuring Bebe Miller, Angie Hauser, and Darrell Jones, who share a 20-plus-year creative scrutiny via dance-making together, Tether welcomes Cunningham as a fourth partner. The work asks: might Loops as a text amplify some aspect of the artists' own shared practice? Could Cunningham's notion of coexisting and predetermined materials serve as a trigger, a tether, for their own artistic interests? Adam Tendler's rendition of Cage's music score acts as a parallel connection to the Cage/Cunningham conversation.

About the Artists
Molissa Fenley, was born in Nevada in 1954, grew up in Ibadan and Lagos, Nigeria (1961-71), returned to the USA to attend Mills College 1971-1975. She moved to New York in 1975 and founded Molissa Fenley and Company in 1977. The Company has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe, Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Choreographic Commissions: the American Dance Festival, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Dia Art Foundation, Jacob's Pillow, The Joyce Theater, The Kitchen, Lincoln Center, New National Theater of Tokyo, National Institute of Performing Arts, Seoul, and New York Live Arts (Dance Theater Workshop). For Dance Companies: Deutsche Oper Berlin, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane, Oakland Ballet, Ohio Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Robert Moses' Kin. Fellowships: American Academy in Rome, Asian Art Council, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Bogliasco Foundation, Guggenheim. Residencies: BAC, Bainbridge Dance Center, Bard College, Bloedel Reserve, Dance HUB in Florence/Agropoli, Italy, Dance Hub in Santa Barbara, Harvard University, Hotchkiss School, Yaddo. Bessie Awards: Choreography: Cenotaph (1985), State of Darkness (1988). Outstanding Revival: State of Darkness (2021). Faculty: Mills College (1999-2020), now Professor Emerita.

Connor Freeman, a native of Los Angeles, grew up in his mother's dance studio in Santa Clarita, California. He graduated from the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA) in 2019. LACHSA introduced him to a variety of works by Jiří Kylían, Hans Van Manen, and José Límon, which he performed in the annual Spring Concert. Freeman has attended multiple summer dance intensives, including GagaLab Tel Aviv, Springboard Danse Montréal, Arts Umbrella, Gaga Summer Intensive Los Angeles, and Juilliard Summer Dance Intensive. At Juilliard, Freeman created multiple workshop pieces on fellow students and was a choreographer for Choreographers and Composers 2021. Freeman has performed work by Ohad Naharin, Tricia Brown, Amy Hall Garner, Sonya Tayeh, and Norbert De La Cruz III. Freeman is also a yoga philosophy and meditation teacher. He will graduate with a BFA in Dance from Juilliard in May 2023.

Angie Hauser is a Bessie award-winning dancer, performer, and choreographer. She is a principal collaborator with Bebe Miller Company (USA) contributing to the creation and performance of over two decades of work with the company. Along with long-time collaborator Chris Aiken, she creates performances, and workshops throughout the U.S. and internationally. She is a sought-after teacher in the realms of dance improvisation, choreography, contemporary dance techniques, contact improvisation, and other forms of making and sharing. At the heart of Hauser's creative work is her endless curiosity about how culture, and imagination show up in the body. She calls Northampton, MA her home, where she is a Professor at Smith College.

Matthew Johnson is a Brooklyn native and is a Senior at The Juilliard School. He has performed works by choreographers such as Ohad Naharin, Sonya Tayeh, Paul Taylor and many more. Johnson made his Broadway debut as Baby John in the Broadway revival of West Side Story (dir. Ivo van Hove; choreog. Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker). He also performed in an immersive theater work titled Alien/Nation (dir. Michael Arden) performed at the Williamstown Theater Festival in 2021, and was in Miscellanea (dir. Kristin Yancy) another immersive show performed in the summer of 2022. Johnson has appeared in a Dance Spirit Magazine article titled "The Look-Back Trap: How Dancers can cope with fears of falling behind" (aut. Kathryn Holmes); speaking about the mental health of dancers in the middle of a pandemic. In 2013, he performed at the Broadway Beacon Awards, and performed with the Boys & Girls Choir of Harlem at events such as Superbowl XLVIII's Superbowl Boulevard and the Westminster Dog Show at Madison Square Garden. He has also attended the Alvin Ailey School Professional Division, the Hubbard Street Pre- Professional Repertoire, and Springboard Danse Montreal summer intensives. Johnson is honored to be performing at the Baryshnikov Arts Center.

Darrell Jones has performed with a variety of choreographers and companies such as Bebe Miller, Urban Bush Women, Min Tanaka and Ralph Lemon. Along with performing, Darrell has collaborated with other choreographers including Kirstie Simson, Angie Hauser, Lisa Gonzales, Paige Cunningham; musicians Jessie Manno, Brian Schuler, and DJ Franco De Leon; and designer, Mawish Syed, in dance films, documentations and interactive multimedia installations. He has received choreographic fellowships from MANCC (Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography), CDF (Chicago Dancemakers Forum) MAP Fund and Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation. Darrell is presently an Associate Professor at Columbia College Chicago. His classes are informed by his studies in a variety of contemporary dance techniques and improvisational processes.

John King is a composer and sound artist who worked with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company from 1985-2011. He was commissioned 4 times for the company and performed and toured extensively with them during this period. He has also been commissioned by Stuttgart Ballet, Mannheim Ballet, Les Grandes Ballets Canadiens, Pennsylvania Ballet and New York City Ballet. Over the past 2 years, he has also collaborated with the choreographer/dancer Brandon Collwes on numerous online movement/sound events in a series called Sonic Gatherings. He has written a number of micro-operas which were recently premiered at The Stone in New York City. King is a freelance guitarist/violist/electronics improvisor/composer and curator, working with a diverse array of creative musicians and performance artists.

Patricia Lent was a member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company from 1984 to 1993, dancing in more than forty complete works, including Pictures, Fabrications, August Pace, and CRWDSPCR. As a member of Mikhail Baryshnikov's White Oak Dance Project (1994-1996) she performed dances by Hanya Holm, Mark Morris, Tere O'Connor, and others. After earning a master's degree from Bank Street College of Education, she taught second and third grade at P.S. 234 in Lower Manhattan (19982007). In 2009, Lent was named a trustee of the Merce Cunningham Trust, and currently serves as director of licensing. Lent began teaching technique and repertory workshops at the Merce Cunningham Studio in the late 1980s. In recent years, she has staged Cunningham's work for numerous companies, conservatories, schools, and museums worldwide. She received a 2019 Bessie Award for her staging of Night of 100 Solos: A Centennial Event presented at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Cunningham's birth.

Justin Lynch is from Kingston, Jamaica. In addition to working with the Merce Cunningham Trust, he has performed for Christopher Williams, the Bang Group, the Metropolitan Opera, Elisa Monte, Nicole Wolcott, and others. Since 2015 he has been a regular collaborator both as a dancer and pianist with Third Rail Projects, including the long-running production Then She Fell. Lynch studied the piano at the Royal College of Music and Boston University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in music, holds a J.D. from Columbia Law School, and leads a double life as a lawyer for creative people.

Daniel Madoff is a film director, cinematographer, editor, and producer. His work includes award winning films which have screened worldwide as well as commercials for national television. He has created content for The New York Times, BBC America, Anheuser Busch, Bacardi, Grey Goose, St Germain, Dewar's, Michelob Ultra, Sterling Wine, BMW, Public Hotels, People Magazine, Swarovski, Crocs, Footlocker, KPMG, Linked In, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Celebrity Series of Boston, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Trisha Brown Dance Company, BalletX, Princeton University, Johns Hopkins, SUNY Purchase, Hunter College, East Carolina University, All Arts/PBS, among others. Before entering the world of film, Daniel was a dancer with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. He served as Director of Media for the Merce Cunningham Trust during Cunningham's centennial celebration.

Griffin Massey, 21, was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. After training in Oklahoma and Texas, he moved to New York City where he is currently in his fourth year at The Juilliard School under Alicia Graf Mack, Dean and Director of the Dance Division, and Mario Alberto Zambrano, Associate Director. While at Juilliard, he has trained in ballet, various modern techniques, and contemporary styles under notable faculty such as Risa Steinberg, Paul Singh, and Francesca Harper. He has had the opportunity to learn and perform works by Amy Hall Garner, Sonya Tayeh, Norbert de la Cruz III, Donald McKayle, Andrea Miller, Ohad Naharin, and Aszure Barton while at Juilliard. Massey recently joined Moving Forward by Madison Hicks in Italy at Orsolina28, creating and performing Hicks' newest work Corrupt(ed). Massey has also studied at Springboard Danse Montréal under the direction of Alexandra Wells, where he performed an excerpt from Crystal Pite's Body and Soul. Massey will continue his training at The Juilliard School and graduate from the program in May of 2023.

Bebe Miller's vision of dance and performance resides in her faith in the moving body as a record of thought, experience, and beauty. Her aesthetic relies on the interplay of a work's idea, its physicality, and the contributions of company members to fashion its singular voice. She has collaborated with artists, composers, writers and designers along with the dancers who share her studio practice and from whom she has learned what dancing can reveal. Since forming Bebe Miller Company in 1985 she has created over 75 works that have been performed in the US, Great Britain, the European Union, South Africa, Eritrea and Peru. One of the inaugural class of Doris Duke Foundation Artists, she also a United States Artists Ford Fellow, and has been named a Master of African American Choreography by the Kennedy Center. Bebe is a Distinguished Professor Emerita in The Ohio State University's Department of Dance. A native New Yorker, she currently lives in Columbus, OH.

Rashaun Mitchell is a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow and recipient of the 2012 NY Dance and Performance Award (Bessies) for "Outstanding Emerging Choreographer". His choreography has been presented by New York Live Arts, Danspace Project, Baryshnikov Arts Center, REDCAT, ICA Boston and Summer Stages Dance, La Mama Moves Festival, Mount Tremper Arts, Skirball Center at NYU, the Museum of Arts and Design, The Lab, ODC, and at numerous site-specific venues and universities. With his ongoing collaborator, Silas Riener, he was a 2014 City Center Choreographic Fellow, and selected for LMCC's inaugural Extended Life Development Program. Mitchell and Riener have been artists in residence at Wellesley College, Watermill Center, Boffo, and Center for Ballet and the Arts. Their work together has been presented by BAM/ Next Wave, EMPAC, The Walker Art Center, MCA Chicago, On The Boards, SF Moma and MoMA PS1. Other awards include a 2007 Princess Grace Award: Dance Fellowship, a 2013 Foundation for Contemporary Art "Grant to Artist," and a 2011 New York Dance and Performance ("Bessie") Award for "Sustained achievement in the work of Merce Cunningham 2004-2012." Mitchell is a Cunningham Trustee and authorized stager of the repertory.

Chaery Moon is a dancer and choreographer who originally hails from South Korea. She danced classical ballet from an early age, attending the Korean National Ballet and Korea National Institute for the Gifted in Arts and won the Tanzolymp in Berlin in 2007. Moon came to the U.S to expand her dance language and, after earning her BFA from The Juilliard School, went on to join the Ballet de l'Opéra de Lyon. She performed numerous works, including pieces by Pina Bausch, Jiri Kylián, Merce Cunningham, William Forsythe, Twyla Tharp, Lucinda Childs, and Jérôme Bel. She returned to academia and the U.S. and holds an MFA from NYU's Tisch Dance. Armed with a diverse array of experiences in the arts, Moon forges her choreographic path by bringing together physical movement and the complexities of what it is to be human. She founded her company, Chaery Moon Dance (CMD) in 2017 and has presented several dance works and films in New York, New Jersey, and L.A. Moon received a grant from NYFA and an artist residency at Downtown Brooklyn. Her collaborative work has been shown in Schön! Magazine and Vogue Hong Kong, and her writing has been published in Dance and People and Dance magazine in South Korea.

Lindsay Phillips is a native of South Carolina and alumna of the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities. After graduating in 2019, Phillips enrolled at The Juilliard School to pursue her BFA in Dance. Now, she is in her fourth year of study and will graduate in the spring of 2023. Throughout her time of study so far, Phillips has worked with an array of choreographers, including Ohad Naharin, Norbert De La Cruz, Yin Yue, James Whiteside, and Andrea Miller. Additionally, she has been an active participant in student choreographic workshops conducted by Juilliard Dance, performing in other students' works as well as creating pieces of her own in contemporary and ballet categories. Phillips has also been involved in the Juilliard community as a Gluck Community Engagement Fellowship member and CLIMB Fellowship instructor. Phillips is eager to fulfill her schooling and remains open to the possibilities of the future.

Davison Scandrett is a Bessie Award-winning lighting designer and production manager based in Brooklyn, NY. He has created lighting for dances by Merce Cunningham, Pam Tanowitz, Rashaun Mitchell, Silas Riener, Sonya Tayeh, Sarah Michelson, Vinson Fraley, Beth Gill, Jodi Melnick, Mina Nishimura, Netta Yerushalmy, Moriah Evans, Liz Roche, Dylan Crossman, and Rebecca Lazier, as well as performances by Moses Sumney, Stephin Merrit, Jason Moran, Simone Dinnerstein, and Heather Christian. His work has been in the repertories of New York City Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Miami City Ballet, and Dance Theater of Harlem. Theatre credits include the Off-Broadway productions of Mike Bribiglia's Thank God for Jokes and Neal Brennan's 3 Mics. Production management credits include projects by Wendy Whelan, Bill T. Jones, Sara Mearns, Benjamin Millepied, Marina Abramovic, Carrie Mae Weems, Charles Atlas, Julian Rosefeldt, Jennifer Monson, Andrew Ondrejcak, Steve Reich, Toshi Reagan, BalletBoyz, National Ballet of China, Lyon Opera Ballet, Ninagawa Company, The Knights, Silk Road Ensemble, Park Avenue Armory, and Lincoln Center. He served as Director of Production for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company from 2008 - 2012 and is currently Design & Production Consultant for the Merce Cunningham Trust.

A recipient of the Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists, "currently the hottest pianist on the American contemporary classical scene" (Minneapolis Star Tribune), a "remarkable and insightful musician" (LA Times), and "relentlessly adventurous pianist" (Washington Post) "joyfully rocking out at his keyboard" (The New York Times), Adam Tendler is an internationally recognized interpreter of living, modern and classical composers. A pioneer of DIY culture in concert music who has commissioned and premiered major works by Christian Wolff and Devonté Hynes alike, at age 23 Tendler performed solo recitals in all fifty states as part of a grassroots tour called America 88x50, which became the subject of his memoir, 88x50, a Kirkus Indie Book of the Month and Lambda Literary Award nominee. He has gone on to become one of classical and contemporary music's most recognized and celebrated artists, active as a soloist, recording artist, composer, speaker and educator, making his BAM and Carnegie Hall mainstage debuts in 2022. Tendler recently released an album of Liszt's Harmonies Poétiques et Religieuses on the Steinway Label, Robert Palmer: Piano Music on New World Records, and published his second book, tidepools. In 2022, he premiered 16 newly commissioned works by composers including Laurie Anderson, Nico Muhly, Missy Mazzoli, Christopher Cerrone, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Timo Andres and Pamela Z as part of a project called Inheritances. Adam Tendler is on the piano faculty at NYU, and is a Yamaha Artist.

Mac Twining trained at the Premiere Division Ballet School, studying classical ballet with Nadege Hottier, and contemporary dance with Ramon Flowers and Manuel Vignoulle. In addition to his formal training, he grew up absorbing knowledge of release technique and postmodern dance through his mother, Darla Stanley. He has had the fortune of working with the Merce Cunningham Trust, Cornfield Dance, Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company, Michael Mao Dance, Tania Pérez Salas Compañia de Danza, and the late, great Aileen Passloff. Twining currently works with Christopher Williams Dance, Kimberly Bartosik/Daela, and the Stephen Petronio Company.


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