Awarded: April 2000
(Apr. 16, 1919 - July 26, 2009)
A principal dancer with the seminal Martha Graham Dance Company, Merce Cunningham has had a long and distinguished career. Often hailed as a “giant of modern dance,” throughout his career Cunningham has pursued his interest in creating abstract dances that accent movement itself. In 1953, he founded the Merce Cunningham Dance Company for which he has created more than 150 works.