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Free dance workshop at the Conservatory

Field Dances was choreographed by Merce Cunningham in 1963. The structure of the dance is indeterminate:  it can be done by any number of dancers, last any length of time, and be performed in any space. The material for the dance includes a series of simple movement phrases incorporating everyday movement like walking, running, skipping, falling, sitting, and leaning. Cunningham’s subtitle for the dance, “Dances for Everyone,” refers to his intention that the choreography can be done by people with varying levels of dance training and experience.  Beginners and experts are welcome!

The workshop will consist of two sessions, 1-2pm for children up to age 12, and 2:30-4pm for anyone over 12. Participants will learn several of the movement phrases and the instructions governing how these phrases are performed in the space.  Participants will have time to explore and experiment with the material, and devise ways of interacting with fellow participants.  The workshop will culminate in a group performance of Field Dances.

Patricia Lent -Instructor was a member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company (1984-1993) and White Oak Dance Project (1994-1996).  She then taught elementary school at P.S. 234 in Lower Manhattan (1998-2007).  In 2009, Lent was named a trustee of the Merce Cunningham Trust, and currently serves as the Trust’s Director of Licensing.  Lent began teaching technique and repertory workshops at the Merce Cunningham Studio in the late 1980s.  She has staged Cunningham’s work for numerous companies, conservatories, schools, and museums worldwide.

This workshop is part of the Merce Cunningham Centennial Community Programs.  Centennial Community Programs are supported with a major grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.


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