John Hinrichs


What are your favorite Taylor pieces?

Esplanade , Cloven Kingdom . I remember seeing Sunset at ADF [American Dance Festival] and loving it. I think because it reminded me of Gene Kelly. The turns the men do... Last Look and Aureole is, of course, classic. 3 Epitaphs is amazing for the quirky niche of movement he found. Just a simple idea, but it turned out to be so beautiful.

It's just such a world of dances.
Yeah. So diverse, which is what appeals to me about it. He says something in an interview like, "I only make three dances really; I just dress them up differently every time." And you can kind of see that, but he's able to make a repertory so diverse based on that mentality. He must have a pretty well developed process of how to make a dance. There are ones that I really love and ones that I don't and that's true of any choreographer. He seems like a good one to learn from and especially having these other interests that I mentioned like comedy, acting, writing. To be inside his mind, to see how he makes a dance, like I did with Merce, could be super beneficial and interesting.

Did you read his autobiography?

Private Domain . Yes. He's a funny guy. Giving himself an alter ego to be a costume designer? And the documentary, Dancemaker , where he told some journalist that he found that music for Company B in the trash.

And it turned out to be a lie.

And he was just laughing about it. I like that.

When I interview him, I'm always thinking to myself, Is that a lie? Is that a lie?
Is that a fun interview then? I'm sure.

Do you think the Cunningham company should disband?
That's a complicated question. Well, it would have been interesting to see what would have happened had they not made that decision because it seemed like a very responsible decision or one that made sense. Like when they rolled out the legacy plan, I remember thinking, Oh, okay, that makes sense. So you don't think you'll have funding to support the company without Merce around to create new work? Yeah, I understand how that would be really difficult. So it made a lot of sense . But not having the Cunningham company around will be a sad thing and who knows? Maybe it could have survived. It might have been really difficult and had to change a lot or scale down, but maybe it could have survived. So much of it does deal with money. I don't really know the nuts and bolts of the financial situation. What is the trust really able to do in that way of keeping some type of group going on? It would be nice if the company would not disband. The company is going to disband regardless, but just as a dance fan—not even as a dancer—I wish it wouldn't.

Is this a difficult time for you or are you just trying to enjoy it?
It's not so difficult. I don't tend to be super sentimental, and having these other things that I'm so enthusiastic about doing after the company—being able to think about that makes me really happy, actually. It will be sad not to be able to perform Cunningham dance stuff anymore, but when one door closes, another opens and I'm kind of looking at it that way. It's sinking in more—we're inside three months now. I'm in a pretty good place for myself within the company. I'm not in any negative place. I'm just kind of taking it pretty slowly right now or in small increments. I'm not stressed out about the future.

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