Posted in music | tour dates on March 10, 2009

Merce Cunningham

"April 16 marks the 90th birthday of Merce Cunningham--one of the most important choreographers of our time--whose radical approaches to space, time, and technology continue to redefine the way we experience dance. Over the course of his celebrated career, he has forged a distinctive language of movement, illuminating the body's inherent drama and limitless capacity for change. And as a longtime collaborator of John Cage, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jasper Johns, he has played a leading role in fostering innovation across art forms.

In celebration of his birthday, Merce Cunningham Dance Company returns to BAM with the world premiere of a dazzling evening-length work created in collaboration with and performed live by underground rock legend Sonic Youth, former Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones, and mixed-media sound composer Takehisa Kosugi. With an intriguing multi-tiered décor by world-renowned architect Benedetta Tagliabue, lighting by Tony and Obie-winning designer Brian MacDevitt, and costumes by Romeo Gigli, this new masterpiece is testament to the boundless imagination of a man who, on the cusp of his ninth decade, still keeps us on our toes."

This show is happening at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House on Apr 16 at 7pm, Apr 17 & 18 at 7:30pm, and Apr 19 at 3pm. Its running time is 90min with intermission. Tickets are ON SALE (thx Hiro).

It's not totally clear to me if Sonic Youth will be playing any of their own songs at the four BAM performances (I'm looking into though). What they'll decide to put on the setlist at the No Fun Fest show they're playing in Brooklyn in May is also somewhat of a mystery.

Sonic Youth's 16th album, 'The Eternal', is out via Matador Records on June 9th. Maybe we'll get a plain old Sonic Youth concert some time around then.

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Comments (15)

John Paul Jones? It's nice to see someone from the Lynnfield Pioneers involved.

Posted by The Rajah of Rehab | March 10, 2009 2:44 PM

I have tix for the 18th, I can guarantee this will be not be a normal SY show. They'll probably compose something original for the show.

Same goes for No Fun Fest.

Posted by Michael | March 10, 2009 2:53 PM

Cunningham's 'Split Sides' piece a number of years ago at BAM with Radiohead and Sigur Ros composing and performing the music was outstanding. Hopefully this will be just as stellar as that evening.

Posted by jc | March 10, 2009 2:56 PM

Amazing that this has to be explained to some of you. This is not a Sonic Youth performance, idiots. You are seeing a dance performance with one part of it being Sonic Youth playing the music for it live. About 20 minutes. And of course they are not playing any of their songs. It is a new piece composed for this performance.

Laughing at all of you who bought tickets already thinking you are seeing a Sonic Youth concert at BAM.

At least the people who got tickets for No Fun Fest are actually seeing a Sonic Youth concert although once again, it is a NOISE performance and not them playing their "songs"

Posted by Anonymous | March 10, 2009 3:55 PM

you all get so full of shit and into yourselves
whenever sonic youth is the topic of anything.
some of the most obnoxious banter i've ever had to sit through was listening to some ignorant hipsters talking about all of sy's side projects
at one of their shows, in brooklyn- sigh- (walked right into that territory on that one)

people should just shut the fuck up when they don't know what they're talking about.

that includes you anon, 3:55!

Posted by Anonymous | March 10, 2009 4:11 PM

"Sonic Youth's 16th album, 'The Eternal', is out via Matador Records on June 9th. Maybe we'll get a plain old Sonic Youth concert some time around then."

BV,shame on you. There is nothing "plain" or "old" about a Sonic Youth show.

Posted by MBMSA | March 10, 2009 4:56 PM

Hey anon 4:11 you pig scum, this is 3:55. So, tell me how i don't know what I am talking about. Set me straight. Can't wait to hear your bullshit because i know exactly what i am talking about.

Posted by Anonymous | March 10, 2009 6:26 PM

If they don't play Sonic Youth songs they shouldn't bill it as Sonic Youth, they should bill it as "Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon and Lee Renaldo of Sonic Youth performing the music of ___"

Posted by Anonymous | March 10, 2009 6:32 PM

"performing a pretentious ballet soundtrack" ?

Posted by Anonymous | March 10, 2009 6:33 PM

merce cunningham is awesome

Posted by Anonymous | March 10, 2009 10:18 PM

6:32 - next you'll be telling us it's bait and switch and calling consumer affairs. don't be daft.

Posted by Anonymous | March 11, 2009 12:12 AM

in this case, i on't think lines should be drawn between participants, or dictated by their past oeuvres... great creative minds and in my mind, an unexpected pairing. this blog fucking sucks except for this post

Posted by Anonymous | March 11, 2009 9:31 PM

bunch of anonymous babies here.....

Ballet rocks motherfuckers!

Posted by Simon | March 25, 2009 9:27 AM

it's so much fun to read these knuckeheads banter. They are proof that people truely due live inside the box. Thanks for the evidence.
Long live the the art rock commanders. I can't wait to hear an original piece performed by Sonic Youth, while my eyes feast on the creative genious, Merce Cunningham. Oh, bonus John Paul Jones is sitting in.

Posted by joe | March 30, 2009 4:02 PM

dear 6:32,

this line of yours >

If they don't play Sonic Youth songs they shouldn't bill it as Sonic Youth, they should bill it as "Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon and Lee Renaldo of Sonic Youth performing the music of ___"

is what i needed for a good laugh today. it's too bad that laugh had to come at the expense of your idiocy. the band IS playing sonic youth songs. they've composed music for the show. it's SONIC YOUTH music. it might not be the songs you know from albums, but it's still sonic youth music. open your ears and mind. you'll enjoy much more out there if/when you do.


Posted by Anonymous | April 16, 2009 6:30 PM

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