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date: 21 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The temporal conjunctions of the deaths of Pina Bausch and Merce Cunningham provide an opportunity to think carefully about the afterlife of choreography. While Cunningham died with a formal legacy plan in place and Bausch did not, issues of obligation to art and to living dancers also have bearing on dance legacy. The chapter considers transformations in the proliferation and ease of documentary records, the pressure to make room for the new, gender and sexuality, and postwar consciousness as important factors in the legacy issues of Bausch and Cunningham. Moving between specific details about each choreographer’s death and more abstract structures of death, the surprise of death’s uneven temporal arrival in the living significantly informs the afterlife of Cunningham and Bausch.

Keywords: Pina Bausch, Merce Cunningham, choreography, legacy, gender

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