“Documentaries about artists all too often fall into a lazy formula of archival clips and talking-heads interviews, with their life stories told from birth to death. Alla Kovgan’s Cunningham does something much different. It’s not a non-fiction biopic. Covering dancer-choreographer Merce Cunningham’s work from 1942 to 1972, it devotes two thirds of its length to new performances of 14 of his dances, shot by Kovgan in evocative locations. It also explores his collaborations with his partner, composer John Cage, and artist Robert Rauschenberg (and, much more fleetingly, Andy Warhol). It uses interviews very sparingly, and all are taken from films made at the time. Shot in 3D, Cunningham uses the format imaginatively to play around with space, making the past and present interact.” – Source: Studio Daily
WHY THIS MATTERS:
Russian-born director Alla Kovgan’s documentary Cunningham focuses on her interest in bringing dance and 3D film together, and layers together new performances and archival photos and footage in interesting ways. “I was interested in translating [Merce Cunningham’s] ideas about dance into cinema,” says Kovgan.
More about Cunningham from around the web:
Interview: Alla Kovgan on Inviting Audiences to Dance with “Cunningham” (The Moveable Fest)