Craneway Event

Bay Area Premiere

Copresented with Cal Performances

In November 2008, British artist Tacita Dean filmed choreographer Merce Cunningham (1919–2009) rehearsing his dance company in Richmond's historic Craneway Pavilion on his final visit to the Bay Area. Shot in 16mm color anamorphic film, the work documents the Merce Cunningham Dance Company (MCDC) over three days. The setting is the 1931 industrial space designed by Albert Kahn as a Ford Motors assembly plant. The building's vast expanse of windows displays dramatic views of the San Francisco Bay and suffuses the Pavilion with natural light, adding an ephemeral quality to Dean's piece. Her film allows us to observe dance without music; Cunningham's frequent practice, developed with his longtime collaborator John Cage, was for the dancers to hear the music for the first time during the actual performance.

BAM/PFA and Cal Performances present Craneway Event in honor of the MCDC Legacy Tour. For details about the final MCDC performances at Zellerbach Hall on March 3, 4, and 5, visit

A promotional price for nonmembers of $7.50 will be offered to Cal Performances patrons with a MCDC ticket stub.

This page may by only partially complete. For additional information about this film, view the original entry on our archived site.