Classical TV Presents ‘Mondays with Merce,’ an Historic Series of Short Videos Devoted to Visionary Choreographer Merce Cunningham (1919-2009)
NEW YORK, Nov. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — “Mondays with Merce,” the new series of short videos devoted to the work and thoughts of visionary choreographer Merce Cunningham, who died at the age of 90 in July, 2009, is now being presented on Classical TV (www.classicaltv.com).
Produced by dance writer Nancy Dalva and featuring the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, “Monday’s with Merce” is a weekly series launching Monday, November 1 at www.classicaltv.com. Comprised of 12 episodes, with more on the way, the series incorporates exclusive footage of Merce Cunningham in rehearsal, and revealing rehearsal and performance footage, as well as absorbing interviews with dancers and choreographers who have worked with and/or admired Cunningham, including Mark Morris, Elizabeth Streb, Neil Greenberg, Ralph Lemon, and many others.
AN AMERICAN VISIONARY, AN HISTORIC SERIES
“I am thrilled to have the wonderful Classical TV viewership given access to ‘Mondays with Merce,’” said series producer Nancy Dalva, noted dance writer and cultural commentator who has observed the company throughout the years and was granted unprecedented access to Cunningham in order to make the series. “It seems like a match made in heaven.”
The series is rooted in the idea of giving greater access to the classes Merce led daily for his company, which afforded fascinating insights into the creative process of this cultural pioneer. Then, once begun, the series went farther.
“We thought that if we made that experience a little more accessible, then the public would understand Merce better from a teaching perspective and a choreographic perspective,” said Trevor Carlson, executive director of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. The Company is in the midst of a three-year legacy plan, endorsed and supported by Cunningham himself and triggered by his death, to phase itself out and transfer its artistic assets to the Merce Cunningham Foundation.
BACKGROUND ON CLASSICAL TV
Classical TV celebrated its launch with a free streaming of the Salzburg Festival Opening Night Gala, on July 30, 2009. Founded by Emmy Award-winning producer/director Chris Hunt, who also created Online Classics, Classical TV currently encompasses over 1000 hours of high-quality performing arts video programs, available largely for free. New programs are added regularly. Among the pay-per-view offerings are the Metropolitan Opera’s pioneering and highly-acclaimed hi-def productions.
“The online performing arts showcase many of us have been dreaming of,” said cultural commentator James Wolcott of Classical TV, on VanityFair.com. Since launching, Classical TV has found its audience to be markedly young — more than 50% are aged 18-to-34 — and “stickier,” too. The average viewer of Classical TV watches more than 3 times longer than viewers on other long-form video sites.
“INSPIRATION ON DEMAND”
Classical TV programs encompass not only opera but symphonic and chamber music, ballet and modern dance, jazz and pop music, theater and musicals, and documentaries. These include performances from the world’s most prestigious stages such as New York’s Metropolitan Opera, St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky (Kirov) Theater, London’s Royal Albert Hall, Paris’s Theatre du Chatelet, and many others. Artists featured include Placido Domingo, Renee Fleming, Carlos Acosta, Nina Simone, Luciano Pavarotti, Anna Netrebko, Roberto Alagna, Quincy Jones, Martha Argerich, Johnny Cash, Pierre Boulez, and many more.
SOURCE Classical TV