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date: 02 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The essay follows Jennifer Goggans’s 2014 reconstruction of Crises, arguing that the retrieval of past works (and thus their performance in a new historical context) encourages audiences to discover aspects of Cunningham’s aesthetic that have not received adequate attention. Cunningham observed and integrated the idiosyncratic qualities of his dancers, allowing them to influence his own way of moving in a process similar to contagion. Further, instead of avoiding all dramatic situations, he set up constraints that would generate them. Drama and erotic tension are present in his work not as plot elements but rather as the inevitable outcome of interconnections and confrontations produced throughout the dance at moments determined by the toss of a coin.

Keywords: Merce Cunningham, Jennifer Goggans, reconstruction, Crises, Viola Farber, contagion, drama, eroticism

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