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A ‘Bloodlines’ Season of Merce Cunningham and Judson Dance Theater

By October 1, 2018News

Originally posted Aug. 31, 2018 by Brian Seibert for the New York Times

A ‘Bloodlines’ Season of Merce Cunningham and Judson Dance Theater

When “Bloodlines,” the Stephen Petronio Company’s series that revives works of American postmodern dance, returns for its fifth season in spring, the troupe will add a third Merce Cunningham work to its repertory: “Tread” (1970).

Cunningham’s company was dissolved, by design, in 2011; his centennial is being celebrated around the world this season. With the performance of “Tread” at “Bloodlines,” scheduled to run April 11-13 at the Skirball Center of New York University, the Petronio troupe will have the most Cunningham dances in its repertory of any American company.

Including the work in “Bloodlines” signals “our commitment to history,” Mr. Petronio said in a statement. “Tread,” with music by Christian Wolff and décor by Bruce Nauman (the subject of a sprawling retrospective opening at the Museum of Modern Art in October), is considered one of Cunningham’s lighter works, with farcical movement and entanglements. Last season, the Petronio dancers performed another playful Cunningham piece from 1970, “Signals”; previously, “Bloodlines” had featured his 1968 “RainForest.”

Joining “Tread” next spring will be the 1970 work “Coverage,” by Rudy Perez, a student of Cunningham’s and an often-overlooked artist of the Judson Dance Theater movement (the subject of another exhibition at MoMA, opening on Sept. 16, where the Petronio company will perform in December).

“Rudy Perez is one of the Judson members who altered dance-making for future generations,” Mr. Petronio said. “While his contributions are underrecognized, his experimentations are evident in ‘Coverage,’ which uniquely explores values of minimalism and theatricality, essentialism and drama.”

As with previous seasons of “Bloodlines,” the program will also include a premiere by Mr. Petronio. His new “American Landscapes” will feature design by Robert Longo and an original score by the Dutch composer Jozef van Wissem and the filmmaker and musician Jim Jarmusch.

Correction: September 10, 2018
An earlier version of the capsule summary with this article described incorrectly the Stephen Petronio Company as the only company capable of performing a full evening of Merce Cunningham works. It is the only such American company, not the only one.

Read the full article with all photos here.

A version of this article appears in print on Sept. 10, 2018, on Page C3 of the New York edition with the headline: A ‘Bloodlines’ Season To Include Cunningham.