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Summerspace, by Merce Cunningham


New York City Ballet / New York / Stage

The score’s two pianos sound haunted. Robert Rauschenberg’s pointillist backdrop looks like a Chagall dissolved in summer rain. The dancers wear unitards that match the backdrop, as if they have escaped from one plane into another. Is this an inner world or an otherworld? Merce Cunningham’s Summerspace, first performed in 1958, entered NYCB repertory in 1966. It’s one of the most exquisite dances you’ll ever see. Summerspace shares the program with George Balanchine’s Serenade and Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2. —L.J.

Travels to: Kennedy Center, Washington (April 2-4, 2020).

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