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Merce CunninghamAfter the Arbitrary$
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Carrie Noland

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226541105

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226541389.001.0001

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The Ethnics of Vaudeville, the Rhythms of Roaratorio

The Ethnics of Vaudeville, the Rhythms of Roaratorio

(p.146) (6) The Ethnics of Vaudeville, the Rhythms of Roaratorio
Merce Cunningham

Carrie Noland

University of Chicago Press

This chapter seeks to complicate the critical consensus that Cunningham produced only "neutral" movement stripped of all (personal, cultural, and historical) connotations.Cunningham worked through the problem of ethnic/racial difference by exploring difference as it is manifested in rhythmic forms. I look at two works that self-consciously index popular dances resonant with troubled histories: Antic Meet (1958) and Roaratorio (1983). In conclusion, I turn to Bill T. Jones's Story/Time (2012), a dance that uses Cage’s method of “indeterminacy” and thereby draws out the less-than-neutral valences of Cunningham's experimental practice.

Keywords:   difference, rhythmic forms, Antic Mee, Roaratorio, Bill T. Jones, Story/Time, indeterminacy, less-than-neutral, connotations

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