Points in Space
Merce Cunningham received a MacArthur
Fellowship in July, 1985 for his work as a choreographer. In two parts,
the video Points in Space presents the process and then the product
of a collaboration between Cunningham and composer John Cage. The first
half, a documentary, provides fascinating views of the artists at work
in their studios. To create Points in Space, a dance designed for
video monitor rather than stage, Cunningham labored on each movement with
his troupe and consulted constantly with the videographer Elliot Caplan.
For the accompanying sound, composer Cage arranged for a computer to extract
and prolong only the consonant sounds from his own reading from Thoreau.
The second half consists of the finished piece. The dance delights with
its quick dartings, slow unfoldings, and cogent use of video space. The
two parts together give great insight into contemporary dance and the