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Merce Cunningham
Biographical Information

Birth Date:April 16, 1919
Astrology Sign:Aries
Chinese Sign:Sheep - Yang
Birth Name:
Birth Place:

Occupation:choreographer, dancer

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Merce Cunningham

Biography:Merce Cunningham is a choreographer born April 16, 1919, Centralia (Washington, United States). He was a long-term collaborator with and romantic partner of John Cage.

Cunningham received his first formal dance and theater training at the Cornish College of the Arts where he met John Cage, who was a piano accompanist for dance classes. Later he moved to New York and studied at the American School of Ballet. From 1939 to 1945 he was a soloist in Martha Graham's dance company, choreographing Paul Bowles' light opera The Wind Remains in 1943. He presented his first New York solo concert with John Cage in April 1944 and founded the Merce Cunningham Dance Company in the summer of 1953 with its first performances at Black Mountain College.

Merce (as he is often simply called) inspired by Einstein's words "there are no fixed points in space," developed a method of creating known as "Chance Operations," which he refined in close collaboration with Cage, his life partner. Influenced by zen and Dadaism, Merce would create a number of dance phrases and use methods such as dice, cards, or coins to determine order, number of repetitions, direction and spatial relation. Often times he would also invite a musician to create a score and an artist to create a visual environment while he created the movement. Each would work separately and would unite the elements for the first time on stage before an audience. Although considered an abrogation of artistic responsibility by some, Merce is thrilled by a process that arrives at works that could never have been created through traditional collaboration. This does not mean, however, that Merce holds every piece created in this fashion is a masterpiece. Those dances that do not "work" are quickly dropped from repertory, while those that do are celebrated as serendipitous discoveries. In this fashion chance operations are similar to improvisation, used as a tool of creation by many artists.

Although well into his eighties and no longer able to dance, Cunningham continues to choreograph with the aid of computer software, working with musical groups including Sigur Rós and Radiohead to create soundtracks for his projects.

Merce was on the development team for the dance software originally called Lifeforms now called Danceforms, the software allows the user to choreograph on a computer.

Cunningham's codified technique for training the body in movement, emphasises strength and agility. His choreography notoriously demands of his dancers difficult, nearly impossible physical feats of athleticism.

Chinese Horoscope for Merce Cunningham
Includes characteristics and Vices
Merce Cunningham's Chinese Horoscope
Chinese Year: February 01, 1919 - February 19, 1920
Birthday: April 16, 1919

The Sheep is a Yang,
and is the Eighth sign of the Chinese horoscope.

Good Manners
Lack of Foresight

Personality and Character Cards:
Personality and character cards are identical!

Merce Cunningham's Personality Tarot Card The Emperor - Personality Card

Birthday: April 16, 1919

Material success, stability, authority and ambition.

This year's Growth Tarot Card
Based on this year's birthday

Merce Cunningham's Growth Tarot Card The Emperor

Birthday: April 16, 2018

Material success, stability, authority and ambition.




Portions of famous people database was used with permission from Russell Grant from his book The Book of Birthdays Copyright © 1999, All rights reserved. Certain biographical material and photos licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License, from Wikipedia®, which is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

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