New Walker performing arts season dreams bigby Euan Kerr, Minnesota Public Radio
The Walker Art Center announces its 2008-2009 performing arts season today. There are 27 different shows in the season, ranging from theater and music to dance and multimedia. The season will start with a huge performance by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, which will perform "Ocean" in a quarry near St. Cloud.
Minneapolis, Minn. — Merce Cunningham began performing at the Walker in the early 1960s, and has held several residencies at the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph.
Now in his 90s, Cunningham is known for his use of elements of chance, such as coin-flipping, to guide his choreography.
The Walker's performing arts curator Philip Bither says "Ocean" is rarely performed in the U.S. The shows will be filmed by a five camera setup, to capture the work performed in front of 1,000 people at a time.
"I think it'll be one of those artistic experiences which people will have with them forever," Bither said. "They'll talk about in 10, or 20, or 30 years. 'You remember Cunningham's 'Ocean' in that quarry?'"
"It's the kind of thing that people travel around the world to get to," Bither continued. "And we are expecting -- in fact, hearing -- that people are planning to travel here from all over the country and internationally to see this work."
The rest of the season includes seven commissions and a number of world premiers.
The famed dance duo Eiko and Koma will perform the butoh-inspired piece "Hunger." The New York-based Builders Association will perform its new work on technological connectivity called "Continuous City."
Also scheduled is a four-part series of new theatrical work from the United Kingdom.
Bither described the highlights of the season to Minnesota Public Radio's Euan Kerr.
- Morning Edition, 06/20/2008, 6:50 a.m.