Merce Cunningham 1919-2009
RainForest (1968)
The title for "RainForest" came from Cunningham’s childhood memories of the Northwest, and the rainforest in the Olympic Peninsula. "RainForest" differed from Cunningham’s other pieces in that, with the exception of Cunningham, each of the six dancers performed his or her role, then left the stage and never returned. Andy Warhol agreed to let Cunningham use his installation "Silver Clouds"--a number of Mylar pillows filled with helium, so that they floated freely in the air. The dancers wore flesh-colored leotards and tights, which Jasper Johns (uncredited) cut with a razor blade, to give the costumes a roughened appearance. The music was by David Tudor, and evoked the chirping and chattering of birds and animals.