Epochal songs
Muna Tseng dances at the installation of Epochal Songs. Photography: Manor Lux

Epochal songs

Dance and movement are recurring motifs in Keith Haring's visual language. Haring frequently worked together with dancers and choreographers and also made sets and drawings for dance performances. One of those collaborations was with the dancer and choreographer Muna Tseng on the dance performance Epochal Songs that premiered in New York in 1982.

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In the early 1980s, the news was dominated by the Cold War. Tseng and Haring both shared concerns about Reagan's policies and the nuclear arms race. Together, they used these topics and developments as the basis for this dance performance. They also developed the idea of incorporating the forty drawings Haring made for this project into an animation, as a dynamic storyboard for the dance performance.   

The drawings that Haring made depict social developments in the flow of time: from the first use of fire to the invention of the wheel and the car, from Egyptian vases to medieval knights, modern technology, nuclear threats and flying saucers. 

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Epochal Songs, created by the two young artists Muna Tseng and Keith Haring. On the occasion of this anniversary, Muna Tseng realised a new, one-off installation based on the original dance performance for SCHUNCK, in collaboration with theatre and lighting designer Thomas Dunn. The installation shows a flowing sequence of Keith Haring's drawings on sixty-four LED screens. Bruce Tovsky and Tracy Wuischpard made a new music score especially for this installation. 

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