When Cornell senior dance lecturer Jim Self heard the news of Merce Cunningham’s death, he was unmoored. “As a teacher, choreographer and person, Merce has been very imprinted on me. I knew he wasn’t there.”
After Merce Cunningham, the revolutionary American choreographer and foremost figure of artistic modernism, died in late June at age 90, his death prompted the dance community at Cornell to contemplate his legacy and influence on memnbers of the department. Some have spoken about the deep loss they have felt — often, despite their only brief encounters with the man.