Merce Cunningham's legendary New York dance company is in St. Cloud, Minnesota this weekend. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, 14 dancers are performing Cunningham's "Ocean" in a massive granite quarry.
I'd write much more...but Minnesota Public Radio's Euan Kerr has already done the work for me, Euan posted a terrific story here, on the MPR website. Euan's story has pics, interviews, and a 7-minute audio story.
Fans of dance...heck, arts fans from around the world are making the trip to see this once-in-a-lifetime happening.
14 dancers surrounded by 1,500 audience members surrounded by an orchestra of 150...surrounded by the sheer granite cliffs of the Rainbow quarry.
Previews and early reviews have been ecstatic. Merce Cunningham (who will turn 90 next year) says "I expect it to be absolutely fascinating -- for us and the audience... An experience that is singular."
A singular experience for musicians, too...but in a different way. One of the members of the orchestra (who shall remain nameless) wrote to me in an email:
The dancing is really fabulous. The rock quarry is impressive. Other than that, it's been a pretty miserable gig. Long hours, playing outside in the cold, waiting for buses, getting home really late.
(Laws, sausages...and artistic extravaganzas.)