Merce Cunningham Dance Company journeys to Jerusalem and Moscow


A special report from arts•meme foreign correspondent Anna Finke, traveling with Merce Cunningham Dance Company. By day, Anna works as MCDC’s wardrobe supervisor and photographer. She blogs at Finke-Ink. Anna writes first on visiting Israel:

We were all excited to take in this new country and the Jerusalem Season of Culture was a wonderful host. We had tours of the Old City, Masada, an amazing day at the Dead Sea, and a Friday-night dinner with Jerusalemite families where we split into small groups and enjoyed an inside look at how people in the community celebrated the Sabbath.

The festival did a fantastic job of generating interest in Merce’s work as well with a Merce campus complete with videos, lectures and concerts, and all of our shows were sold out to very exuberant audiences. It was an incredible week to dive into new sights and cultures that we will not soon forget.

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Top photo: The company tries to keep cool while listening to the tour guide at Masada.

At right: Members of MCDC finish a tour of Masada with the Dead Sea below and Jordan in the background.

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Moscow was our next stop, full of beautiful golden-domed churches and horseradish vodka. We premiered our final revival here as “Rainforest” graced the stage, Warhol’s Silver Clouds floating around the dancers and sometimes into the orchestra pit and audience. The festival held a party for us; the colorful spread and warm welcome after opening night was much appreciated by the hungry company.

Our day off led most of us to the Kremlin and its astounding frescoed cathedrals with time to run through the Red Square and peruse the souvenir markets nearby.

The chance to experience two countries few of us have seen was most definitely a highlight of our final year with the company.

At left: Dylan Crossman and other members of MCDC enter the Kremlin.

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