Merce Cunningham Dance Company (MCDC) presented seven performances in a series at Dia:Beacon entitled Beacon Events, 2007-2009. During this two year residency, MCDC presented a series of week-long, seasonal residencies and held performances in the galleries devoted to the work of Andy Warhol, Walter De Maria, Bruce Nauman, Richard Serra, John Chamberlain, Dan Flavin, and Imi Knoebel. Merce Cunningham choreographed his signature, site-specific Events and invited viewers to walk around the galleries to experience Cunningham’s performances from different vantage points. The performances were accompanied by an original live score developed specifically for each Event, and were the only time the musicians and dancers would come together in each setting.
MCDC’s Hudson Valley Project, in partnership with Dia Art Foundation, Bard College, and The John Cage Trust at Bard College, has been made possible, in part, through major support from The New York State Music Fund, established by the New York State Attorney General at Rockefeller Philanthropic Advisors. Additional support has been provided by Melissa and Robert Soros, The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, The Harkness Foundation for Dance, and through public support from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art. Supplemental gifts were made in honor of Anne d’Harnoncourt and by Victoria and S.I. Newhouse, and Carla Emil and Richard Silverstein.
September 30, 2007, 3 pm
The first Beacon Event was held within the gallery devoted to Andy Warhol’s Shadows paintings.
January 12 and 13, 2008, 2 pm
The second Beacon Event was held in the two parallel galleries devoted to Walter De Maria’s Equal Area Series.
May 18, 2008, 2 pm and 4:30 pm
The third Beacon Event was held on two stages, one outside and one inside the museum, in spaces adjacent to the galleries devoted to Bruce Nauman’s work.
July 5 2008, 2 pm, July 6, 2008, 2 pm and 4:30 pm
The fourth Beacon Event was held within the gallery devoted to Richard Serra’s Torqued Ellipses series.
December 6 and 7, 2008, 2 pm
The fifth Beacon Event was held in the gallery devoted to the work of John Chamberlain.
February 21 and 22, 2009, 2 pm:
The sixth Beacon Event was held in the gallery devoted to the work of Dan Flavin.
May 16, 2009, 2 pm and 4:30 pm:
The seventh and final Beacon Event was held in one of the two galleries devoted to Imi Knoebel's 24 Colors—for Blinky, 1977.
Merce Cunningham was born in Centralia, Washington, in 1919. He died in New York City in 2009.