Merce Cunnigham Dies at Age of 90

Merce Cunningham, the avant-garde dancer and choreographer who revolutionized modern dance by creating works of pure movement divorced from storytelling and even from their musical accompaniment, has died at age 90, San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Cunningham, best known for pioneering pure movement in dance divorced from storytelling and music, died at age 90 Sunday in New York City from natural causes.

"He was the greatest choreographer of the 20th century. His understanding of and concepts about dance influenced every important choreographer after the 1970s because he isolated dance from narrative and emotion," Lin told The Associated Press in a phone interview from the Taiwanese capital Taipei ,The Associated Press reports.

Cunningham performed with the troupe at the Harris Theater in 2003, reciting a narrative accompaniment written by composer, longtime collaborator and partner John Cage.

"A lot of our work may originally have been Cage's idea, but I agreed," Cunningham told the Tribune at the time. "He didn't think music should be subservient to the dance, nor should the dance just show off the music. They should have separate identities, coming together since they both use time, but cut up the time in different ways." , Chicago Tribune reports.