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Could you make a dance in the round? John Cage asked Merce Cunningham before the James Joyce/John Cage Festival in Zurich, in June 1991. Cage had in mind a dance performed in the middle of a circular space, surrounded by the audience and then musicians, in concentric circles. There being no suitable venue at the Swiss event, Cages idea was set aside, and a little more than a year later, he died, quite unexpectedly.
What makes a performance live? Is it a shared energy in a single space at the same time? Is it the smell of sweat? Is it simply an agreement between performer and audience?
Setting dance to Beethoven has historically raised a few eyebrows in the dance world. George Balanchine, a great lover of music, went so far as to describe Beethovens heavy-sounding music as unchoreographable and never once during his prolific career used the composers work.