Case Studies/Loops

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Loops is a project created collaboratively between the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and The OpenEnded Group that released Merce Cunningham’s choreography for his solo dance "Loops" under a CC BY-NC-SA license.

Longtime Cunningham collaborators Marc Downie, Paul Kaiser, and Shelley Eshkar, who together form the OpenEnded Group, are releasing an open source recording of [Merce] Cunningham performing a new version of his renowned piece, Loops. Loops was originally performed in 1971 as a solo dance. In this special re-configuration, Cunningham focuses only on his sensor-laden hands and the resulting work is a graceful visualization of his fingers moving through space. The transition into this form indeed visualizes how the artist has evolved over the years. Cunningham is also releasing the score under a Creative Commons (non-commercial/attribution/share-alike) license, so that it can be more closely studied and remixed in the future. For an artist with such a long-standing interest in chance operations, it's a bold and exciting move to see his work opened up to others in this way — Marisa Olson


The OpenEnded Group also released a digital portrait of Cunningham, also entitled "Loops", as open source software. This artwork derives from a high-resolution 3D recording of Cunningham performing the solo with his hands and promises to provide ample substance for derivative works.

License Usage

Choreographing of Merce Cunningham's dance "Loops" is released under a CC BY-NC-SA license so others can freely remix and re-score the dance.


CC licenses "provided the legal and ingenious “copyleft” license that Cunningham has used to share his choreography."


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