Since the death of Merce Cunningham (1919-2009) and the dissolution of his company — which the choreographer planned before his passing — the vitality of his work has constantly been in evidence. Today, every ballet company’s repertory includes one or several pieces by the great Merce, who is increasingly seen as the most universal reference of dance in the 20th century. And yet this is an extraordinary tribute here offered to him by the three most prestigious companies in the world. Opera Ballet Vlaanderen is performing “Pond Way” against a backdrop inspired by a famous Roy Lichtenstein painting.
Cunningham drew his inspiration for this work from his earliest childhood memories of skipping stones across pond. The ballet became a meditative experience in which the fluid movements of the dancers evoke the ripples on the water, as a sensual awakening. The choreographer was also inspired by the studies of nature that the painter Roy Lichtenstein constructed from the dot matrix style of newsprint.
Music Brian Eno, New Ikebukuro
Set design Roy Lichtenstein
Restaged by Andrea Weber WITH 13 dancers / Opera Ballet Vlaanderen
FIRST PERFORMED ON JANUARY 13, 1998 BY THE MERCE CUNNINGHAM DANCE COMPANY AT THE PALAIS GARNIER, OPÉRA NATIONAL DE PARIS. ADDED TO THE REPERTORY OF THE ROYAL BALLET OF FLANDERS ON OCTOBER 22, 2016 AT THE GHENT OPERA (BELGIUM).