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Merce Cunningham-Inspired Performances Premiere at ODC Theater This Weekend

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Silas Riener (L) and Rashaun Mitchell (R), both formerly Cunningham company dancers, taught the late artists's technique and philosophy to dancers and non-dancers alike. (Stephanie Lister/KQED)

This summer 10 local artists of various disciplines spent two weeks at ODC Theater learning—and interrogating—the technique and philosophy of Merce Cunningham with former dancers in the storied choreographer’s company, and then creating their own original works in response. The residency, organized by Hope Mohr Dance’s Bridge Project in collaboration with SFMOMA’s Open Space, fostered a “sense of permission to ask big questions,” Mohr told KQED at the time. Participants including Sofia Córdova, Jenny Odell and Maxe Crandall wrestled physically with Cunningham movement, and intellectually with his composition methods and legacy. The results of Signals from the West: Bay Area Artists in Conversation with Merce Cunningham premiere Friday and Saturday at ODC Theater alongside Cunningham repertory excerpts performed by professional dancers, preceded by a free artist talk Thursday.


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