Merce Cunningham received his first formal dance and theater training at the Cornish School (now Cornish College of the Arts) in Seattle. From 1939 to 1945, he was a soloist in the company of Martha Graham. He presented his first New York solo concert with John Cage in April 1944. Merce Cunningham Dance Company was formed at Black Mountain College in the summer of 1953. Since that time, Cunningham has choreographed nearly 200 works for his company. He has been noted for his collaborations with contemporary visual artists and musicians, especially with the composer John Cage, his life partner from the 1940s until Cage’s death in 1992, and with the celebrated contemporary artist Robert Rauschenberg.
Last Updated: 9/3/09