on John Cage
When the Merce Cunningham Dance Company closed in 2011, two years after Cunningham’s death, people wondered how his dances would live on. A YouTube channel was not among the expected preservation modes, but today, the Merce Cunningham Trust’s YouTube page is one of the most engaging, accessible troves of his work, with nearly 100 (and counting) entries, from 60-second archival clips to 90-minute videos of company class.
Produced by Nancy Dalva, the trust’s resident scholar, the channel began as a platform for her insightful mini-documentary series, “Mondays with Merce.” Lately she’s been uploading footage that didn’t make the first cut: Cunningham’s musings on topics from John Cage to the sunset outside his West Village studio; a rehearsal of the dizzying “CRWDSPCR.” “I want people to be able to see the work as Merce made it and as the dancers rehearsed it,” Ms. Dalva said. That goes for curious newcomers and nostalgic fans. “The world of his work was a place where we lived, and this is a way to revisit it.”