Music for Merce

  • $30 Full
  • $24 MCA Members
  • $10 Students

Featured image

John Cage, Concert for Piano and Orchestra, 1957–58. © 1960 by Henmar Press Inc. Used by kind permission of C. F. Peters Corporation


To affirm life . . . not to a specialized world of art, but to the open, unpredictably changing world of everyday living.


Merce Cunningham and John Cage, partners in life and art, defied expectations of how to do things. Their restless explorations not only revolutionized their individual fields, they also changed the relation of music and dance. Instead of dance moving to music, they created both elements separately and brought them together at the performance—fundamentally changing the nature of how we experience performance. As Cage wrote in a program note for an early Cunningham performance, this is art that doesn’t “say” something, but rather simply “presents” activity.

Music for Merce features an all-star cast of former Cunningham collaborators convened by guest curator John King. These major figures include David Behrman, Joan La Barbara, Fast Forward, George Lewis, Ikue Mori, Zeena Parkins, Quinta, Phil Selway, and Christian Wolff.

Presented in conjunction with Merce Cunningham: Common Time

Running time: 120 minutes


Pre-Show Talk

Join performers of Music for Merce one hour before the performance on Sunday, February 26, for a pre-show conversation.