Merce Cunningham takes the spotlight at the Opéra de Lyon

Published: 2018/10/24

Grab your binoculars and get ready to go to the opera!


Merce Cunningham’s choreography is being honoured with Opéra de Lyon’s dance company from November 9th to 11th 2018.



2018 marks the 100th birthday of American choreographer Merce Cunnigham. This legend introduced the basics of post-modern dance in the 1940s. His focus was on movement, which was to become emotion through freedom and autonomy.

Merce Cunnigham’s Summerspace and Exchange at Opéra de Lyon, November 9th to 11th

The Opéra de Lyon decided to celebrate this momentous occasion with performances of the choreographer’s most well-known pieces: Summerspace and Exchange, the latter being added to the dance company’s repertoire.

There will be three performances, all in the Grande Salle of the Opéra de Lyon: Friday November 9th at 8 PM, Saturday the 10th at 8 PM and Sunday the 11th at 4 PM. Prices will range from 10 to 40 euros and tickets can be bought on their website. Each performance will last one hour and a half, with a 20-minute intermission.



Summerspace was created in 1958 with the subtitle “A Lyrical Dance”, which is very evocative of the piece. The Opéra de Lyon company will present it with 6 of its dancers, who are meant to build the space. Robert Rauschenberg is responsible for the pointillist-style painting in the background, reflected on the dancers’ costumes. The music will be Morton Feldman’s Ixion.

The main focus is on Exchange, as it the dance company’s first time performing the piece, which will be added to the repertoire. It was created in 1978, its focus being all on repetition, and is illustrated with paintings by Jasper Johns. This time, it will be David Tudor’s Weatherings accompanying the dancers.