SALT LAKE CITY, UT—Celebrating the life and work of one of the great modern dance artists, The Joyce Theater has invited three international companies, including Ballet West to present iconic works by Merce Cunningham, who would have turned 100 this year. The historic six-show retrospective runs April 17—21.

Merce Cunningham was named “one of the great iconoclasts in 20th-century art” by The New York Times, and his body of work changed the landscape of dance, music, and contemporary art. To close the Ballet West season last year, Artistic Director Adam Sklute staged Summerspace a masterwork from Cunningham’s expansive catalogue of work. The performance received national attention and lured The Joyce to invite Ballet West back for the third time in as many years.

“It was a privilege to present Summerspace to our audience last year. The work is not only a remarkable piece of art for audiences, Merce’s entire way of working became a fascinating exploration for our dancers from how they internalized the movement to how they approach music,” said Sklute. “I am proud that Ballet West is being singled out by the Joyce and the Cunningham Trust for our thoughtful and meticulous staging of the work, and honored to present it at this celebration, on The Joyce’s storied stage.”

A common practice for Cunningham was to collaborate with visual arts, architects, designers, and musicians. From Lichtenstein to Warhol, Cunningham worked with some of the most cutting-edge innovators of the 20th century. In 1958, he created Summerspace, which became indicative of his unique collaborative method. American painter and graphic artist Robert Rauschenberg designed the costumes and set, and Morton Feldman, one of America’s most important experimental composers, wrote the music. The three men worked entirely independent of one another, only seeing the ballet put together on the night of its premiere in New London, Connecticut.

In addition to Ballet West, the French company, Compagnie CNDC-Angers/Robert Swinton brings Suite for Five, with its quiet unmoving center, and The Washington Ballet will stage Duets, a sophisticated and abstract work for six couples.

Tickets range in price from $10-$50, and can be purchased at, or by calling Joyce Charge at 212-242-0800. Please note: ticket prices are subject to change. The Joyce Theater is located at 175 Eighth Avenue at West 19th Street. For more information, please visit


Joshua Jones | 801-414-4101 | jjones@balletwest