Seeking to avoid the sort of bitter legal struggle that erupted over the rights to Martha Graham's repertory after her death in 1991, 90-year-old dance master Merce Cunningham and his Cunningham Dance Foundation unveiled a plan Tuesday for dealing with key artistic, preservation and administrative issues when the time comes that he can no longer direct the troupe.
Following the choreographer's death or incapacitation, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company will celebrate his legacy with a two-year world tour.
This would be followed by the formal closure of the foundation and all its activities -- the company, studio and archives. Its assets will transfer to the Merce Cunningham Trust. The repertory is to be sustained through the creation of "dance capsules" -- digital packages containing complete documentation, in many forms, about designated dances.
-- Susan Reiter