Merce Cunningham and John Cage are best known for their contribution the the modernization of dance as an interpretive and abstract form. They were exacting artists, interested in investigation, process, and the creation of work. They were doers and craftsmen, interested in new works, new themes, new ideas, and new ways of doing things. Surprising then that they reveal themselves to be so staid and conservative in their practice. Among their rules for dancers and teachers are these:
"The only rule is work."
"Find something that you trust."
"Always take class."
"There are no mistakes."
"Try to be happy."
I love this. These are simple things that I find myself nudging upon my students, my colleagues, and myself. There is something in this about the way we participate in things, the approach we take to our practice, and how that informs our behavior in the rest of our lives.
To Watch the Merce Cunningham Dance Company
Cage and Cunninghams Rules for Students and Teachers:
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