Openly gay choreographer Merce Cunningham died in his NYC apartment on Sunday, July 26, at age 90.
Over the course of his 60-year career, Cunningham established himself as one of the leading pioneers of dance theater. He founded the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, in which he performed in every single show until he turned 70.
As several LGBT blogs have noted, Cunningham was renowned not only for his avant-garde choreography, but also for his professional and romantic partnership with musician John Cage. In an interview with The Guardian in 2000, Cunningham was quoted saying, “I don't think I was guarded about my personal life. John and I were together. We did our work together. We traveled together. What more is there to say?"
By the 1950s, they had became known as a groundbreaking force in the world of dance. His and Cage's contribution to dance is widely recognized in art circles, and is one important example of the LGBT community's participation in the evolution of art and culture.
A collection of his notable performances can be found on YouTube.