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Merce Cunningham – After the Arbitrary - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Merce Cunningham: After the Arbitrary

Carrie Noland


In this book, I treat what I believe to be Cunningham’s greatest preoccupation: not chance but rather inevitability, not chilling neutrality but rather the heat of human bonds. Instead of focusing solely on “the movement itself,” Cunningham in fact explored the way movements evoke intimate relationships and dramatic plots. By privileging this side of Cunningham—which has never been systematically examined—I go against the grain of the critical literature on his dances, a critical literature that has repeatedly compared his aesthetics to those of John Cage. While others have championed (or lame ... More

Keywords: Merce Cunningham, Carolyn Brown, choreography, dance, John Cage, Queer Studies, Viola Farber, Marcel Ducham, Robert Rauschenberg, Rasa theory

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780226541105
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226541389.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Carrie Noland, author
University of California, Irvine