Merce Cunningham: The Modernizing of Modern Dance is the first complete critical overview of Cunningham's entire body of work, extending from his earliest solos through his most recent experiments with digital technology.
Copeland argues that Cunningham is the only choreographer whose work is central to one of the great sea-changes in the arts of the last fifty years: the movement away from the hot, anguished, deeply personal energies of abstract expressionism toward a much cooler, brainy, and impersonal mode of art-making.
This book is also the first to examine Cunningham's movement in relation to the musical scores of John Cage, Morton Feldman, and Earle Brown. This iconoclastic, yet highly readable study will delight anyone interested in the development of the American arts in the 20th century.
About the Author
Roger Copeland is Professor of Theater and Dance at Oberlin College. He is coeditor of the widely used anthology What is Dance? His essays about dance, theater, and film have appeared in The New York Times, The New Republic, The Village Voice, and many other publications including The Encyclopedia of Dance and Ballet.