‘The Collaborative Spirit’ at Chapman University Will Feature a ‘minEvent’ by Merce Cunningham and John Cage, April 14

April 6, 2011

ORANGE, Calif., April 6, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A unique live performance by Chapman University student musicians and dancers will feature a “minEvent” by the late choreographer Merce Cunningham and his longtime partner, the late composer John Cage. “The Collaborative Spirit: An Evening of Music and Dance,” which takes place Thursday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m. in Chapman’s Memorial Hall, will be an experience of live music combined with dance – an experience not often found on university campuses, where dancers frequently perform to recorded tracks. The evening will also feature a dance work by Jiri Kylian set to live music by Steve Reich, and an original work by Chapman dance professor Liz Maxwell, set to live music by Frederic Rzweski.

Tickets are on sale now or will be available at the door, at $15 general admission or $10 for students and senior citizens. Call 714-997-6812 to order.

Liz Maxwell, assistant professor of dance at Chapman, teamed with fellow Chapman faculty member Nick Terry, assistant professor of music and director of percussion activities in Chapman’s Conservatory of Music, to create the show.

The collaborative performance is the first of its kind for Chapman’s College of Performing Arts, says Maxwell. “To illuminate the aspects of collaboration, Chapman dance and music students will perform a Merce Cunningham ‘minEvent’ to the music of John Cage,” Maxwell said. “Both artists were long committed to supporting live music as the accompaniment for dance.”

Merce Cunningham (1919-2009) was an iconic American choreographer and hailed as one of the creative giants of the last century. Cage (1912-1992), one of the most influential composers of the 20(th) century, was Cunningham’s partner in life and also in creating dance/music works together.

“A minEvent is an uninterrupted sequence of excerpts drawn from various selections of the Cunningham repertoire,” Maxwell explains. “Each minEvent is unique, and can include any variations representing his 70 years of dance-making. In this case, our students learned a nearly 30-minute series of excerpts of six dances. In the same vein, eight musicians will play 12 various scores by Cage in an unspecified order to be determined at showtime.”

Maxwell added that Chapman is greatly privileged to be part of an exclusive list of schools performing Cunningham’s work during 2011, dubbed the Merce Cunningham Legacy Year. The other institutions include The Juilliard School of Music, Cornish College of the Arts, the University of Michigan, Trinity Laban Conservatoire, London Contemporary Dance School and Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.

Also represented in the performance will be an excerpt from “Falling Angels,” one of the most famous dance works created by world-renowned choreographer Jiri Kylian, set to the ground-breaking composition “Drumming” by Steve Reich.

Professor Maxwell was inspired by Frederic Rzweski’s politically themed musical work “Coming Together” for her dance work, “Impetus II.” The music, which uses improvisational elements, is set to letters from Sam Melville, an inmate at Attica State Prison.

This performance is the capstone activity of a course co-taught and developed over the past year by Professors Maxwell and Terry.

More information on Chapman University’s College of Performing Arts: www.chapman.edu/copa

SOURCE Chapman University

Source: newswire

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