Drawing Dance: On Tour with The Merce Cunningham Dance Company - 92Y, New York

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Harkness Dance Festival Conversation

Drawing Dance: On Tour with The Merce Cunningham Dance Company

Kenneth E. Parris III, Melissa Toogood, Douglas Dunn, Kimberly Bartosik, and other guests
The Curtain And The Heartbeat
The Curtain And The Heartbeat Mixed Media Painting on Wood Panel, 48in x 33in

Painter Kenneth E. Parris III spent 104 weeks with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company on its final legacy tour before disbanding.

Through acrylic, graphite, and other media, he documented the dancers’ historically significant story, one of courage and physical sacrifice. Unlike the iconographic images of the events on stage, Parris’s work captures intimate moments, loud parties, the rigors of traveling, celebratory dinners, exhaustion, and many rituals. All these scenes express the essence and complexity of the dancers’ personalities and underline their drive to make lasting beauty with Merce, who had since passed. With members of the company, past and present, Parris shares these images to reveal the experience of dancing and touring with and without Merce, telling their compelling personal stories through conversation and visual art and discussing the indelible impressions of the choreographer and his dances.

Celebrating its 25th season, the 92Y Harkness Dance Festival honors the Centenary of Merce Cunningham.

The festival’s opening weekend features dances by the master, himself:

  • New York Theatre Ballet performs Cunningham’s Septet and Cross Currents
  • Melissa Toogood performs Cunningham solos, Doubles, Landrover, Loose Time
  • Melissa Toogood and Calvin Royal III perform the duet from Scenario
  • MinEvent performed by New World School of the Arts, staged by Melissa Toogood

Join us for the rest of the festival celebrating the Centenary of Merce Cunningham, March 1-30, 2019. The next four weekends feature world premieres by Douglas Dunn + Dancers, Dylan Crossman Dans(c)e, Jonah Bokaer Choreography and Ellen Cornfied of Cornfield Dance, each representing four generations of Cunningham dancers who have established their own companies.

Program is subject to change.

Kenneth E. Parris III

Kenneth E. Parris III is a Brooklyn based Visual Artist born in Philadelphia, PA, 1975, raised in Austin, TX …

Melissa Toogood

Melissa Toogood is a Bessie Award winning performer. She began performing with Pam Tanowitz Dance in 2006, …

Douglas Dunn

Douglas Dunn took his first ballet class at the Princeton Ballet Society while attending Princeton University, AB Art History, 1964 …

Kimberly Bartosik

Bessie award winning performer Kimberly Bartosik’s work has been presented by BAM Next Wave Festival 2018, …

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