In July 2019, Trinity Laban welcomed students from The Juilliard School for a one-week collaborative project in celebration of the Merce Cunningham Centennial.
Together, they performed a MinEvent, staged by Robert Swinston, Director of the National Centre for Contemporary Dance and Trinity Laban Dance Lecturer Daniel Squire.
An insight into the music…
The music for this project was, in the spirit of the partnership between John Cage and Merce Cunningham, conceived entirely separately from the dance and brought together with it only at the end for the dress rehearsal and performance. All four of us brought different approaches that reflect different aspects of Cage’s aesthetic, whether the use of amplified found objects, prepared piano, random readings from Cage’s seminal book Silence or the combination of preconceived actions with chance procedures and unpredictable sound sources. Through a process of improvisation and experimentation, we devised a number of strategies for the performance which enabled us to have a broad plan while maintaining the spontaneity of an improvised approach.
This project was a huge joy for all of us to work on: it was a great privilege to share the stage with the fantastically talented dancers from both Trinity Laban and The Juilliard School. The process of being part of an environment where two groups work independently, while at the same time being united in focus and concentration, is something that I can only describe as magical.
Peter Nagle, Department Coordinator: Composition and Keyboard/ PhD candidate for Composition
Staging: Robert Swinston & Daniel Squire
Musicians: Peter Nagle, Michael Clulow, Andy Trewren & Heather Stephenson
Costume: Florence Meredith & Klara Landin Larsson
Lighting: Kate Elliott
Sound: PJ Harvey & Syd Funnell
Performers: Nina Peng & Taylor Massa (The Juilliard School), Mitchell Davies, Hannah Wallace, Natalya Smith, Anastasia Maselli & Molly Hick (Trinity Laban)