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Hydro steps into modern dance festival

September 30, 2002, 01:00 CEST

Hydro's "art to nourish your soul" series of performances helped bring modern art legend Merce Cunningham and his company of dancers to Oslo this past weekend as part of the city's first Contemporary Dance Festival (CODA) - Sept. 24 to Oct. 4.

Merce Cunningham Dance Company headlined this year's CODA, which features more than fifteen performances by Norwegian and international choreographers and dancers - including Ingunn Bjørnsgaard Prosjekt (N), Carte Blanche (N), Samir Akika (G), David Zambrano (NL), Michele Anne De May (B) and Siobhan Davies Dance Company (UK).

"It's important for Hydro to support innovative, high quality artistic expression... it reflects our own level of performance within an industrial context," said Hydro information manager Tove Veierød, in charge of cultural events and corporate sponsorships. "Merce Cunningham is a legend and CODA provides an outstanding opportunity for Norwegian audiences to experience great art."

The 83-year old Cunningham sat stage left during the Sunday matinee performance of Event at Oslo Konserthus. Presented without intermission, Event consisted of complete dances, excerpts of dances from the repertory and new sequences arranged for the particular performance and place. Stage decor was made by equally famous modern art legend, the painter Robert Rauschenberg, who first collaborated with Cunningham and music composer John Cage in the early 1950s.

At the end of the performance, Cunningham navigated center stage with the aid of a crutch and dancer to receive a warm standing ovation.

CODA actually premiered this year at Reykjavik City Theatre in Iceland before traveling to Oslo. Performances are still scheduled by Siobhan Davies Dance Company, who host the world premiere of Plants and Ghosts, David Zambrano, Michele Anne De Mey, and Ingun Bjørnsgaard Prosjekt.

For more information, call CODA at +47-22-47-46-55; write to e-mail address codaoslo@hotmail.com, or see Internet website at www.codadancefest.no