From left: Douglas Dunn, Merce Cunningham. Warming up, Milan, 1972

James Klosty, Courtesy Klosty

Stunning Photos From a New Book for Merce Cunningham Lovers

As if we didn't have enough bounty in this centennial year of Merce Cunningham, another treasure has just appeared. James Klosty, the photographer who captured the most evocative moments of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company at work and at play, has released an augmented version of his 1975 book, redesigned and renamed Merce Cunningham Redux.


The original essays are still included. For instance, Carolyn Brown, the dancer who most often partnered Cunningham in those years, wrote this about his dancing: "He moves with leopard stealth and speed and awareness and intention." (Her wonderful essay, which you can read in full in the Redux version, was the seed for her acclaimed book Chance and Circumstance: Twenty Years With Cage and Cunningham.) Other contributors include John Cage, Gordon Mumma, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Pauline Oliveros and Lew Lloyd.

Klosty's dance photographs are glorious. They capture the communal feeling of the company in the '60s and '70s, early in the life of Cunningham's work, as they rehearse and perform his dances from that period. For this edition, Klosty has added 140 pages of photos in rich duotone—some of them showing the dancers peacefully at work, others showing moments of a very contemporary sort of drama.

Enough said. Here are a few of the photos from Merce Cunningham Redux, available now from PowerHouse Books.

James Klosty, Courtesy Klosty

Carolyn Brown and Merce Cunningham, Westbeth Studio, 1972

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Courtesy Esse

What It Was Like When Ruth Bader Ginsburg Was in the Audience—or Backstage

The 27 years that Ruth Bader Ginsburg spent on the U.S. Supreme Court were 27 years that she spent as one of Washington, D.C.'s most ardent, elegant and erudite supporters of the performing arts. The justice, who died on September 18 of metastatic cancer, was also an avid cultural tourist, traveling to the Santa Fe and Glimmerglass operas nearly every summer, as well as occasionally returning to catch shows in her native New York City.

Ginsburg's opera fandom was well known, but her tastes were wide-ranging. Particularly in the last 10 years of her life, after Ginsburg lost her beloved husband, Marty, it was not unusual for the petite justice and her security detail to be spotted at theaters several nights a week. She saw everything, from classic musicals to serious new plays, plus performances that defied classification, like Martha Clarke's dance drama Chéri, with Alessandra Ferri and Herman Cornejo, which toured to the Kennedy Center in 2014.

To honor Ginsburg, Dance Magazine asked three dance artists whose performances the justice attended to recall what Ginsburg meant to them.

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