Merce Cunningham Dance Company
The Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s production of “Nearly 90²” was presented at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, New Jersey. While there was almost a full house, the spacious build of the theatre still gave plenty of breathing room to allow for an enjoyable performance. Most people know that Merce Cunningham was one of the greatest American dancers whose constant innovation expanded the frontiers of dance. For this reason, it can be safely assumed that the restaged version of his last creation was greatly anticipated. As a spokesperson enthusiastically introduced the company, revealing a little bit of their background, a certain mood of excitement was set right away. I believe that it is this initial feeling that evoked a good amount of eagerness from the audience as the lights dimmed and the evening length piece began.
The first thing the audience was given to focus on was about a dozen dancers separated into pairs. One pair after the other would perform about eight counts that ended in an impressive attitude turn en flat. This ripple effect along with the “horror movie” music provided a bit of mystery to this introduction. Soon after, the stage was left with just one female dancer who seemed to be looking for another dancer. Her doll-like choreography had many small, fast movements, and because of her exquisite technique, these difficult movements seemed effortless to the audience.
Shortly after she found the dancer she was looking for, the lights began to slowly show with a yellowish tint. At this point, the music became even more strange. It almost matched the choreography, with its choppy, robotic sound. This led the audience to perceive the dancers as foreign intruders from another planet. At one point, it seemed as though one of the dancers was the alien, and the other was a human. It was clear that their meeting was a success, as they began to dance together in unison, demonstrating that they recognized each...