The Final Roar

For 57 years, Merce Cunningham created dances that influenced generations of choreographers. A month before he died last July, at age 90, Cunningham announced that at his death, his eponymous company would launch a two-year international Legacy Tour, then disband. Now L.A. Music Center Dance Program director Renae Williams Niles has organized funding for a special revival of Cunningham's 1986 Roaratorio. With a score by Cunningham's favorite composer and life partner, John Cage, Roaratorio was described by New York Times reviewer Anna Kisselgoff as "a major retrospective of previous Cunningham-Cage ideas, much as George Balanchine's Jewels was of his own work." The performances here are surrounded by a swirl of events -- films, master classes, pre- and postperformance discussions. For its finale, this mini-festival moves to REDCAT for a film screening and a performance by Mikhail Baryshnikov, which will benefit the Cunningham foundation's efforts to preserve and license the work of this towering figure in American dance. While the foundation will ensure that other companies will perform Cunningham's work in the future, this will be the last chance to see the master's choreography danced by those he personally trained. For information on the related events go to and for the Baryshnikov benefit go to
Fri., June 4, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., June 5, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., June 6, 2 p.m., 2010

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