A Rich History of Dance at St. B’s

Did you know that Merce Cunningham taught at St. Bernard’s?  Ms. St. Germain, St. Bernard’s School archivist, found an excerpt from our school publication in 1939 that announced a new course taught by Mr. Mercier Cunningham. 

“In the first place we have introduced a course of physical training throughout the school.  The exercises, which are given with a piano accompaniment, should do much to improve a boy’s coordination, as well as his posture and general physical development.  Mr. Mercier Cunningham, who has studied at the Cornish School, Washington, The Bennington Summer School of the Dance, and the Dalcroze School of Eurhythmies, is conducting this course.  Parents are cordially invited to watch, if not to participate in, these classes.”

The Budget, December 1939
2019 marks the year when Merce Cunningham would have turned one hundred.  St. Bernard’s is honored to share some history with this remarkable dancer, choreographer, and teacher.  The tradition of dance that began with Mr. Cunningham continues through today.  Each year St. B’s third graders learn from a dancer from the American Ballet Theatre.  This year’s third graders had a wonderful time learning the basics of ballet from Mr. Adam, an educator from ABT who spent several days teaching the boys in the medium gym.  The boys are excited to perform their choreographed dances for their parents in the ABT Studios next week.