The technologies exist, the creative talents are out there and the spirit of the Games is all about being proud and bringing your fresh new ideas to the table.
It has been a sad few months for the dancers of the world. Not only has the brightly burning talent that was Pina Bausch been extinguished, but I was saddened to learn that the great Merce Cunningham has also passed away.
Both artists were pioneers in the world of dance, creating a new vocabulary and reinventing the art form, and not always in ways that were accepted by the ‘establishment’. Cunningham has long been an inspiration to young dancers everywhere, his maverick ideas and love of shaking things up appeals to the rebel in us all.
Cunningham began his career in the Martha Graham Company and for anyone who doesn’t know the name, Graham herself was one of THE pioneers of contemporary dance and its ‘rebellion’ from the classical dance world. Both Graham and Cunningham dance techniques are taught widely throughout the world as the building blocks of most contemporary dance.
Cunningham liked to mix things up to see what happened and was the credited creator of ‘dance by chance’ which involved him creating works using random collections of movements, often decided by flipping a coin or throwing dice to really leave things to fate. Cunningham would often send his dancers on stage with no idea as to what the music would be and the two art forms existed separately while occupying the same space – this was a far cry from the traditional marriage of music and dance.
Cunningham shared much of his life with the inimitable musician John Cage, who passed away in 1992, who himself created an entirely new way of thinking about music. One only has to think of his piano piece ‘4 minutes and 33 seconds’ which is easily recognised as it has no instruments playing and no sound produced other than those of the environment in which the piece is staged – controversial stuff at the time, but now widely regarded as the cutting edge of contemporary music and dance.
I’m not sure that a Cunningham-inspired Opening Ceremony would be too great an idea with so much left to chance, but I'm dying to see what role dance will play at the London 2012 Opening and Closing Ceremonies and Britain has such a diverse pool from which to draw its talents.
Who should get the chance to perform? Morris dancers for the traditionalists? Street dancers for the modern? I think the Ceremonies team would be delighted to hear the nation's views! And, in fact, they've already started - including the conversations about Ceremonies they started with people right around the UK last year...