Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s Final Tour Includes a Scottsdale Stop

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The famed avant-garde dance company founded by the late Merce Cunningham has embarked on its final tour before disbanding according to Cunningham’s wishes. But you can experience one of the final performances by this iconic dance troupe at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday, March 10.

Merce Cunningham (1919-2009) was a leader of the American avante-garde movement in dance and a highly respected choreographer during his 70-year-plus career. Remaining active in the arts world right up until his death at the age of 90 in New York City, Cunningham had earned some of the highest honors in his lifetime that a performing artist can receive, including the British Laurence Olivier Award (1985) and recognition as an Officier of the Legion d’Honneur in France (2004).

Cunningham’s life and work have been the basis for multiple books and exhibitions, and such esteemed dance groups as the Ballet of the Paris Opera, New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theater and others have performed his choreography. And some other artistic greats he collaborated with during his career include Andy Warhol, Sigur Ros, Roy Lichtenstein, Radiohead, Robert Rauschenberg and John Cage.

According to Cunningham’s Legacy Plan, which he created to guide his company and preserve his artistic legacy upon his passing, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company embarked on a two-year final tour in February 2010. The intention was to grant audiences around the world the opportunity to witness the master’s works performed by dancers personally trained by him before the company disbands after a final performance in New York City in December 2011.

You can catch the Scottsdale performance by this legendary dance group on March 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the Virginia G. Piper Theater at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $34 or $44 and can be purchased here.

Also on March 10, at 6 p.m., the curator of “Dance With Camera,” Jenelle Porter, will be conducting a tour of the exhibition and discussing artist Tacita Dean’s film “Merce (Manchester)” nextdoor at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.

The exhibition “Dance With Camera” is free to those holding tickets to the Merce Cunningham Dance Company performance from 6 to 7 p.m. Just present your ticket to gain entry.

The Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts is located at 7380 E. Second St. in Scottsdale 480.312.2467

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