A documentary about the life and works of pioneering choreographer Merce Cunningham.
'Cunningham' is a documentary made in celebration of the life and work of New York choreographer Merce Cunningham, a man known for his ethereal routines and avant-garde style. It is a documentary that uses filmmaking to capture various forms of art: from music and dance, to poetry.
Director Alla Kovgan considers Cunningham's life through his work with a particular focus on his contributions to the dance scene between 1942 and 1972. It examines the abstract philosophy that Cunningham applied to his choreography through his own performances as well as reconstructions by dancers today. Cunningham's long-term partner, John Cage, offers some more personal and biographical insights into Cunningham's life and the difficulties that come with trying to make a name for yourself and see your artistic vision become a reality. 'Cunningham' also delves into his professional connections, exploring how the choreographer went on to collaborate with artists of such calibre as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichenstein.
The combination of audio and visual footage as well as dance reconstructions aims to immerse the audience in the visceral art of Cunningham's choreography on the big screen. 'Cunningham' is written and directed by Alla Kovgan, whose other works include 'Nora' and 'Devil's Lungs'.