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If the Dancer Dances (PG*) + ScreenTalk

Merce Cunningham Centennial

Merce Cunningham

How can a new cast of dancers inhabit a work from another era? A dance has no script or score; it only comes alive when it’s passed from one dancer to another, body to body.

It’s this intimate process we witness in this film, which brings us into the studio as three former members of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company teach Cunningham’s iconic 1968 RainForest to the Stephen Petronio Company.

The dancers have just twelve days over three weeks to work with the original stagers; the stakes are high – they’re not just learning new choreography but have to find the courage to master an entirely new movement style.

A feature documentary by former Cunningham dancer Lise Friedman and director Maia WechslerIf the Dancer Dances tracks the dancers’ often intensely personal challenges, as they reveal what it takes to keep a dance alive. 

US 2018 Dir Maia Wechsler 86 min Digital presentation

* = Locally classified by The City of London Corporation

Following the screening dancer Lise Friedman and director Maia Wechsler will be interviewed on stage by Trevor Carlson, close friend and Executive Director to Merce Cunningham.

Part of the Merce Cunningham Centennial celebration


Merce Cunningham

Long read : 100 Years of Merce Cunningham

Celebrating 100 years since the birth of one of the most influential American choreographers of the 20th century, we invite his contemporaries, collaborators and performers to share their memories and explore the legacy of Merce Cunningham.

Merce Cunningham

Listen: Richard Alston on Merce Cunningham

Choreographer Richard Alston reflects on the infuence of Merce Cunningham on his career and the Richard Alston Dance Company. 

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