Craneway Event (2009). In 16 mm, 108 min
Absorbing and intimate, Craneway Event is a contemplative encounter with the legendary modern dance choreographer, Merce Cunningham.
In this film created by British artist Tacita Dean (b. 1965), the second of two portraits of Cunningham she has made, Dean explores the creative process and the language of Cunningham’s experimental style.
Filmed over the course of three days in November 2008 in Richmond, California against a backdrop of the San Francisco Bay, Dean gives full expression to the ebbs and flows of a dance rehearsal, here for a performance to be staged in this expansive 1930s Albert Kahn-designed building. A former Ford assembly plant, the character of the building shifts throughout the day and, as the morning light gives way to the warmth of an evening sun, the building breathes as much as the dancers.
Throughout Craneway Event, Dean not only captures the qualities of this stage and its surrounding environment, but more significantly she hones in on the evolving and instinctual dialogue developed between the master choreographer and his dancers. Shot eight months prior to his death in July 2009, this film is a lasting and meditative view of Cunningham at work.
For more events scheduled around town that celebrate the life and legacy of Merce Cunningham, see the Merce Cunningham minEvent Project.
The screening is free, however registrations are now closed. Spaces will be available at the door. Reservations not checked in 10 minutes prior to the start time will be released.