Back in graduate school as part of a dance studies class. It was a strange class on top of a strange experience, that I will eventually write about... but anyway, I had to watch a video of Merce Cunningham performing and then describe it. I had originally gone to grad school thinking that I would work as a dramaturge but had switched interests to writing theater for young audiences, and after this particular exercise, I realized that I had little interest in knowing how to write about a performer who repeatedly sweeps his toe on the stage.
When I was graced with a couple of tickets to see the new documentary about Cunningham, I flashed back to that video I had watched in 1992 and flinched. I almost said 'no', but then the Mister was excited to go and so I smiled through what I thought would be a painful evening. I couldn't have been more wrong.
"Dance" as an art form sort of confuses me - I find it a little tedious but filmmaker, Alla Kovgan, not only gives us some background (although this is not a comprehensive biography by any means) of Cunningham, but traces his artistic evolution, plus provides the audiences modern interpretations of his work - the effect is a gorgeously filmed movie that makes one want to search out live performances of the work. And having seen the work through her eyes as well as though the Mister's, I think I have a much better appreciation for its beauty and how innovative it was (and still is, really).
I really encourage you to seek this film out; you can find where and when it's showing by going to the film's website by clicking here.