What distinguished Cunningham from all other great choreographers was the degree of his inclusiveness. He invented dance movements that were modern and new, but even more revolutionary was the way he placed them in the world in which we lived.
Cunningham could never take his eyes off the street, and the dynamic that we all witness everyday is what he embraced. And he proved that music, costumes, set designs, lighting and sound could all exist independently on stage, just like they do in our lives, so long as there is a general shared aesthetic.
On Wednesday no one could actually watch everything, since people hovered closely around the stages. But dance was all around us. Music was all around us. And people were all around us. The audience could sit and watch and listen, or people could wander and socialize and have a glass of wine while paying a compliment to an art-world luminary such as Jasper Johns.
Mark Swed in the New York Times on the Merce Cunningham memorial ‘Events’ at the Park Avenue Armory in New York last Wednesday