Performance Research: Queering Cunningham & Cage

Eugene Lang College Lib Arts: The Arts

Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Degree Students
Queering Cunningham & Cage
Fall 2024
Taught By: Neil Greenberg
Section: A

CRN: 17235

Credits: 3 TO 4

This hybrid studio/seminar ourse will center on the art-making practices and lives of choreographer Merce Cunningham (2019-2009) and composer John Cage (1912-1992), artistic collaborators and life partners who never, while both were alive, publicly spoke of the queer nature of their relationship, working within the “open closet” of the NYC art communities of the mid-20th century. We will consider how their art-making philosophies and practices - including their use of chance mechanisms and indeterminacy as compositional strategies, and the rupture of their work from literary or narrative meanings - might be seen to reflect multiple responses to homophobia and sexism - defensive maneuvers, circumventions, and interventions, sometimes simultaneously. Examining the development of their works side by side, and in their historical contexts, will allow us to push the boundaries of lesbian/gay/queer cultural analyses by pursuing different meanings of "queer," including how these artists "queered" the aesthetic practices of their times. Students also will experiment with making their own small-scale performance works, beginning with exercises based on a composition workshop taught by Cunningham in 1978, and later devising their own projects employing aspects of Cunningham’s and/or Cage’s practices as a springboard. Improvisation and composition exercises will support a collaborative studio practice that will be complemented by reading, screening, listening and writing assignments. Note: This course is offered for variable credit: Students who elect to also create choreographic research projects for performance in the Lang Dance Fall Production, and who meet the prerequisite of Intro to Choreographic Research, should register for 4 credits/TRF classes; students who do not elect to also create choreographic research projects should register for 3 credits/TR classes only. *This LDAN course can be used to fulfill an Arts program LINA (InterArts) requirement.

College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)

Department: The Arts (ART)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 18

Add/Drop Deadline: September 9, 2024 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 17, 2024 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

* Seats available but reserved for a specific population.

Status: Open*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 2:36am EDT 6/14/2024

Meeting Info:
Days: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
Times: 2:00pm - 3:40pm
Building: Eugene Lang 65 W11th
Room: 500
Date Range: 8/26/2024 - 12/15/2024