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Cunningham, Merce (1919-2009)  
 
page: 1  2  

Insisting that his dances are not psychological or in any way "about" him, he eschewed an overtly political stance in favor of a collaborative model that may be said to represent a queering of the creative process. The creative artist is removed from the center of the artistic endeavor. All hierarchies are dismantled and all alternatives are considered equal.

Cunningham's relationship with Cage endured for 54 years, until Cage's death in 1992. The personal and professional collaboration between the two men made them role models for several generations of gay men and lesbians.

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Now recognized as a seminal figure in twentieth-century American culture, Merce Cunningham received numerous prestigious awards and honors, including the National Medal of Arts and membership in the American Academy and the Institute of Arts and Letters.

Active until the very end of his long life, Cunningham gradually relinquished day-to-day management of his dance company. On July 26, 2009, he died peacefully in his sleep in his Manhattan home.

Jeffery Byrd

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arts >> Overview:  Ballet

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arts >> Cage, John

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arts >> Duchamp, Marcel

One of the most influential artists of the twentieth century, Marcel Duchamp desired to break down all linguistic, sexual, and social restraints.

arts >> Goode, Joe

The most original contribution of the work of choreographer Joe Goode, which frequently confronts issues of being gay in the age of AIDS, is its challenge to traditional assumptions involving gender.

arts >> Johns, Jasper

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arts >> Miller, Tim

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arts >> Rauschenberg, Robert

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    Bibliography
   

Banes, Sally, intro. Art Performs Life: Merce Cunningham/Meredith Monk/ Bill T. Jones. Philippe Verge, Siri Engberg, and Kelli Jones, eds. Minneapolis: Walker Art Center, 1998.

Cunningham, Merce. The Dancer and the Dance: Conversations with Jacqueline Lesschaeve. New York: Marion Boyars, 1985.

Fitzpatrick, Laurie. "Merce Cunningham, 1919- ." Gay and Lesbian Biography. Michael J. Tyrkus, ed. Detroit: St. James Press, 1997. 139-140.

Jordan, John Bryce. "Cunningham, Merce (1919- )." Gay Histories and Cultures. George E. Haggerty, ed. New York: Garland, 2000. 231-232.

Sylvester, David, et al. Cage, Cunningham, Johns: Dancers on a Plane. New York: Knopf, 1990.

 

    Citation Information
         
    Author: Byrd, Jeffery  
    Entry Title: Cunningham, Merce  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
 
    Publication Date: 2002  
    Date Last Updated July 28, 2009  
    Web Address www.glbtq.com/arts/cunningham_merce.html  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
 
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2002, glbtq, Inc.  
 

 

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