WHAT ARE YOUR FEELINGS ABOUT THE DISSOLVING OF MERCE CUNNINGHAM'S DANCE COMPANY AFTER HIS DEATH? It was absolutely the right thing to do. Dance lives in its moment: the way we think about time and space, the way costume works, the way sexuality works, it's all so much of its time. Of course, I also believe in having the repertoire preserved. Unfortunately, in the US, we don't have an institution like the Paris Opera that will have Giselle and Swan Lake and also Cunningham meticulously preserved. But unless you have an institution that can really do it right, it becomes diluted. I'm sure that other companies will learn the work so it will not die, but it won't be some lukewarm version.

DO YOU THINK YOU'RE A CELEBRITY? [Laughs] A small, marginal part of the world knows who I am. I am proud of what I've done. I haven't capitulated to turning my back on dance, even though the mass media doesn't have a place for it. I just decided I believe in pure, poetic, expressive dance, and I'm very interested in communicating that way. You have to accept being marginal. I'm lucky that I've been able to do these other projects, and that's great too. Whatever comes up, I have to keep the balls in the air.

MARIE ANTOINETTE BEGINS PREVIEWS SEPTEMBER 1 AND RUNS THROUGH SEPTEMBER 29 AT THE LOEB DRAMA CENTER.

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