The Zen of choreographer Merce Cunningham comes alive in a new documentary about his life.
- In Cunningham, director Alla Kovgan brings the avant-garde dancer to life.
- Merce Cunningham's seven-decade career left behind some of the most important modern dances in the twentieth century.
- In this interview with Big Think, Kovgan discusses how she approached the film while sharing Cunningham's ideas about success.
A new study finds that societies use the same acoustic features for the same types of songs, suggesting universal cognitive mechanisms underpinning world music.
- Every culture in the world creates music, though stylistic diversity hides their core similarities.
- A new study in Science finds that cultures use identifiable acoustic features in the same types of songs and that tonality exists worldwide.
- Music is one of hundreds of human universals ethnographers have discovered.
"In so far as bodily movements build the brain, every movement a human makes matters."
Throughout history, hundreds — sometimes thousands — of people have been spontaneously compelled to dance until collapsing or dying from exhaustion. What explanations are there for this bizarre phenomenon?
- In 1518, Strasbourg, 400 men and women danced until collapsing from exhaustion.
- These "dancing plagues" occurred throughout the Middle Ages.
- Similar spontaneous, mass compulsions have occurred throughout history, some very recently. What are they, and why do they happen?
Every field has its revolutionaries – dance is no different.
Martha Graham, along with Doris Humphrey, Charles Weidman, Hanya Holm, has been recognized a one of the 'big four' founders of American modern dance. For 70 years she dedicated her life to the art form, first as a performer and later as a choreographer. She ran a dance company and received numerous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and National Medal of Arts. In 2015, Graham was posthumously inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.