EXITS AND ENTRANCES - Biographies

Unitxt. Ensemble. © Wilfried Hösl Unitxt Katherina Markowskaja und Léonard Engel Foto: Wilfried Hösl Ensemble in BIPED Foto Wilfried Hösl

EXITS AND ENTRANCES

Merce Cunningham /
Richard Siegal

BIPED / Unitxt
Music by Gavin Bryars Biped / Carsten Nicolai, alva noto unitxt'
Prinzregententheater

Munich Opera Festival 2013
Tuesday, 16. July 2013

BIPED (1999)

Merce Cunningham
Richard Siegal

Choreography

Merce Cunningham

Merce Cunningham was a leader of the American avant-garde throughout his seventy-year career and is considered one of the most important choreographers of our time. Through much of his life, he was also one of the greatest American dancers. With an artistic career distinguished by constant innovation, Cunningham expanded the frontiers not only of dance, but also of contemporary visual and performing arts. His collaborations with artistic innovators from every creative discipline have yielded an unparalleled body of American dance, music, and visual art.

Of all his collaborations, Cunningham’s work with John Cage, his life partner from the 1940s until Cage’s death in 1992, had the greatest influence on his practice. Together, Cunningham and Cage proposed a number of radical innovations. The most famous and controversial of these concerned the relationship between dance and music, which they concluded may occur in the same time and space, but should be created independently of one another. The two also made extensive use of chance procedures, abandoning not only musical forms, but narrative and other conventional elements of dance composition - such as cause and effect, and climax and anticlimax. For Cunningham the subject of his dances was always dance itself.

Born in Centralia, Washington on April 16, 1919, Cunningham began his professional modern dance career at 20 with a six-year tenure as a soloist in the Martha Graham Dance Company. In 1944 he presented his first solo show and in 1953 formed the Merce Cunningham Dance Company as a forum to explore his groundbreaking ideas. Over the course of his career, Cunningham choreographed more than 150 dances and over 800 'Events'. Dancers who trained with Cunningham and have gone on to form their own companies include Paul Taylor, Trisha Brown, Lucinda Childs, Karole Armitage, Foofwa d’Immobilité, and Jonah Bokaer.
Cunningham’s lifelong passion for exploration and innovation made him a leader in applying new technologies to the arts. He began investigating dance on film in the 1970s, and choreographed using the computer program DanceForms during the latter part of his career. He explored motion capture technology to create décor for BIPED (1999), and his interest in new media led to the creation of Mondays with Merce.

An active choreographer and mentor to the arts world until his death at the age of 90, Cunningham earned some of the highest honors bestowed in the arts. Among his many awards are the National Medal of Arts (1990) and the MacArthur Fellowship (1985). He also received the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award in 2009, Japan’s Praemium Imperiale in 2005, the British Laurence Olivier Award in 1985, and was named Officier of the Legion d’Honneur in France in 2004. Cunningham’s life and artistic vision have been the subject of four books and three major exhibitions, and his works have been presented by groups including the Ballet of the Paris Opéra, New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theater, White Oak Dance Project, and London’s Rambert Dance Company.

Cunningham passed away in his New York City home on July 26, 2009. Always forward-thinking, Cunningham developed the precedent-setting Legacy Plan prior to his death to guide his Company and ensure the preservation of his artistic legacy.
Merce Cunningham. ©Annie Leibovitz

 



Music

Gavin Bryars



 



Set

Shelley Eshkar


 

 



Set

Paul Kaiser


 

 



Costumes

Suzanne Gallo


 

 



Lighting

Aaron Copp


 

 


Unitxt


Choreography

Richard Siegal

Dancer and choreographer Richard Siegal is looking for a fresh new appeal for contemporary dance by working with artists of all genres. In 2005, he founded “The Bakery” with home bases in Berlin and Paris as a platform for collaborative projects including dancers, musicians, architects and software engineers.
An important element of Siegal’s work is the development of his “If-then” method which references logical equations from science and technology to create choreographic material.

Siegal has previously presented his innovative works during festivals around the world and has been awarded several honours, including the “New York Dance and Performance Bessie Award”, the “S.A.C.D. Prize” and the German Theatre prize “Der Faust”.

He held artist/choreographer-in-residence posts at “Bennington College”, Vermont, the “Center for Arts and Media Technologies Karlsruhe”, Germany and the “Baryshnikov Arts Center”, NYC.
As a faculty member of the American Dance Festival, he curates the annual “Forsythe Festival” drawing on his personal experience as an active member of “Ballett Frankfurt” under the artistic leadership of William Forsythe.

Siegal is currently staging The New 45 with Junior Company/ Bavarian State Ballet II. In the season 2012/2013, he will create a ballet for the main company. It will premiere in June 2013, together with Cunningham's Biped.
Richard Siegal

 



Music

Carsten Nicolai


Carsten Nicolai, born 1965 in Karl-Marx-Stadt (today Chemnitz), is a visual artist, composer and musician who lives and works in Berlin and Chemnitz. In his work he seeks to overcome a separation of art forms and genres for an integrated artistic approach. Influenced by scientific reference systems, Nicolai often engages mathematic and cybernetic patterns such as grids and codes, as well as error, random and self-organising structures. Nicolai received numerous prizes and stipends, such as Giga-Hertz-Award, Karlsruhe (2012), Villa Massimo, Rome (2007), Zurich Prize, Basle (2007), Villa Aurora, Los Angeles (2003), Golden Nica, Ars Electronica, Linz (2000 und 2001), F6-Philip Morris Graphik-Preis, Dresden (2000). His works have been shown at national and international major exhibitions in prestigious galleries and museums. As well his works have been acquired by prominent private and public collections worldwide. For several years now Nicolai has released albums under the pseudonyms noto and alva noto which he has presented at live shows in national and international concert halls, clubs and museums. He has cooperated with renowned composers and musician including Ryuichi Sakamoto, Blixa Bargeld, Ryoji Ikeda, Michael Nyman, Mika Vainio, Olaf Bender + Frank Bretschneider (signal), as well as with diverse orchestras for modern music, such as
Ensemble Modern, BCN 216 and zeitkratzer.http://www.carstennicolai.de/
http://www.alvanoto.com/

 



Objekte

Konstantin Grcic

Konstantin Grcic (*1965) was trained as a cabinet maker at The John Makepeace School (Dorset, England) before studying Design at the Royal College of Art in London. Since setting up his own practice Konstantin Grcic Industrial Design (KGID) in Munich in 1991, he has developed furniture, products and lighting for some of the leading companies in the design field. Amongst his renowned clients are Authentics, BD Ediciones, ClassiCon, Flos, Magis, Mattiazzi, Muji, Nespresso, Plank, Serafino Zani, Thomas-Rosenthal and Vitra. Many of his products have received international design awards such as the prestigious Compasso d'Oro for his MAYDAY lamp (Flos) in 2001 and the MYTO chair (Plank) in 2011. Work by Konstantin Grcic forms part of the permanent collections of the world´s most important design museums (a.o. MoMA/New York, Centre Pompidou/Paris).

Most recently Konstantin Grcic has curated a number of significant design exhibitions such as DESIGN-REAL for The Serpentine Gallery, London (2009), COMFORT for the St.Etienne Design Biennale (2010) and BLACK2 for the Istituto Svizzero, Rome (2010). Solo exhibitions of his work have been shown at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (Rotterdam, 2006), Haus der Kunst (Munich, 2006) and The Art Institute of Chicago (2009). The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) appointed Konstantin Grcic "Royal Designer for Industry", in 2010 he was fellow at Villa Massimo in Rome. Design Miami/ arwarded him the title "2010 Designer of the Year".

Konstantin Grcic defines function in human terms, combining formal strictness with considerable mental acuity and humour. Each of his products is characterized by a careful research into the history of design and architecture and his passion for technology and materials. Known for pared-down pieces, Grcic is often called a minimalist but the designer himself prefers to speak of simplicity.
Konstantin Grcic. ©Markus Jans

 



Licht/Projektion

Richard Siegal

Dancer and choreographer Richard Siegal is looking for a fresh new appeal for contemporary dance by working with artists of all genres. In 2005, he founded “The Bakery” with home bases in Berlin and Paris as a platform for collaborative projects including dancers, musicians, architects and software engineers.
An important element of Siegal’s work is the development of his “If-then” method which references logical equations from science and technology to create choreographic material.

Siegal has previously presented his innovative works during festivals around the world and has been awarded several honours, including the “New York Dance and Performance Bessie Award”, the “S.A.C.D. Prize” and the German Theatre prize “Der Faust”.

He held artist/choreographer-in-residence posts at “Bennington College”, Vermont, the “Center for Arts and Media Technologies Karlsruhe”, Germany and the “Baryshnikov Arts Center”, NYC.
As a faculty member of the American Dance Festival, he curates the annual “Forsythe Festival” drawing on his personal experience as an active member of “Ballett Frankfurt” under the artistic leadership of William Forsythe.

Siegal is currently staging The New 45 with Junior Company/ Bavarian State Ballet II. In the season 2012/2013, he will create a ballet for the main company. It will premiere in June 2013, together with Cunningham's Biped.
Richard Siegal