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Cage, choreography and a dancing cat

Posted on October 12, 2012


miaruihorta2The composer John Cage often used chance operations in his work: unpredictable elements that could change and shape the work. For Danza Preparata, performed at London’s Southbank Centre on Tuesday, October 16, the unpredictable elements include a cat named Mia.

Pianist Rolf Hind and choreographer Rui Horta celebrate the centenary of Cage’s birth as part of Ether, the Southbank Centre’s festival of innovation and technology. Hind will play Cage’s Sonatas and Interludes, a group of 20 short pieces for prepared piano. Cage would put objects – everything from bolts to pieces of paper – into the workings of the piano to change its sound.

Horta’s dance is influenced by Cage’s long collaboration with choreographer Merce Cunningham. Dancer Silvia Bertoncelli will be joined on stage by Mia the cat, who will offer her own unique response to the music.

Tickets are available from 0844 847 9910 or from


Pictures: Silvia Bertoncelli with Mia. Photographs: Rui Horta

Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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