Robert Swinston, as told to Claudia La Rocco
ROBERT SWINSTON, a graduate of the Juilliard School, danced with the Martha Graham Apprentice Group, José Limón Dance Company, and with Kazuko Hirabayashi Dance Theatre before joining the Merce Cunningham Dance Company in 1980. He became Assistant to the Choreographer in July 1992. Since Merce Cunningham's death in July 2009, Swinston has been the Director of Choreography, overseeing the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and the CDF Repertory Understudy Group. In 2003, he received a "Bessie" Award for his performance in the revival of Cunningham's How to Pass, Kick, Fall, and Run. In 2009, Swinston was named a Trustee for the Merce Cunningham Trust.
I had friends in the Cunningham Company long before I joined in 1980. In the 1970s I went to the concerts, year after yearI was perplexed, to say the least, but I was also curious, and, in general, became more interested by what was going on.