Merce Cunningham Symposium at the Southern Methodist University,1987-10-23/24

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Title
Merce Cunningham Symposium at the Southern Methodist University,1987-10-23/24
Additional title: Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation Collection
Names
Merce Cunningham Dance Company (Associated name)
Aloff, Mindy, 1947- (Panelist)
Banes, Sally (Panelist)
Brown, Carolyn, 1927- (Panelist)
Caplan, Elliot (Panelist)
Carroll, Noël, 1947- (Panelist)
Celli, Joseph (Panelist)
Cunningham, Merce (Interviewee)
Finlayson, Victoria (Panelist)
Good, Alan (Panelist)
Komar, Chris (Panelist)
Preger-Simon, Marianne (Panelist)
Richards, Mary Caroline (Panelist)
Swinston, Robert (Panelist)
Tudor, David, 1926-1996 (Panelist)
Vaughan, David, 1924- (Moderator)
Vaughan, David, 1924- (Panelist)
Southern Methodist University (Host)
Collection

Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation Collection. Audio materials

Dates / Origin
Date Created: 1987-10-23
Date Created: 1987-10-24
Library locations
Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound
Shelf locator: *LTC-A 1410
Topics
Artaud, Antonin, 1896-1948
Cage, John
Cunningham, Merce
Satie, Erik, 1866-1925 -- Piège de Méduse
Black Mountain College (Black Mountain, N.C.)
Merce Cunningham Dance Company
Deli commedia (Motion picture)
Event for television (Motion picture)
Channels/Inserts (Choreographic work : Cunningham)
Event (Choreographic work : Cunningham)
Jour ou deux (Choreographic work : Cunningham, M)
Labyrinthian dances (Choreographic work : Cunningham)
Place (Choreographic work : Cunningham)
Points in space (Choreographic work : Cunningham)
Septet (Choreographic work : Cunningham)
Sixteen dances for soloist and company of three (Choreographic work : Cunningham)
Untitled solo (Choreographic work : Cunningham)
Variations V (Choreographic work : Cunningham)
Choreography
Dance criticism
Dance in motion pictures, television, etc
Modern dance -- History -- United States
Music and dance
Postmodern dance
Genres
Lectures
Interviews
Panel discussions
Notes
Content: Contains six symposium sessions on Merce Cunningham. Session 1 is moderator David Vaughan with panelists Elliot Caplan, Noël Carroll, and Joseph Celli. Session 2 is an unidentified female moderator [possibly Carolyn Brown?] with panelists David Vaughan, Sally [Banes], and Mindy [Aloff]. Session 3 is titled Merce Cunningham at Black Mountain College, with moderator David Vaughan and panelists M.C. Richards, David Tudor, Marianne Preger-Simon, and Carolyn Brown. Session 4 is moderator David Vaughan with panelists Noël Carroll, Joseph Celli, and Sally [Banes]. Session 5 is an unidentified female interviewer [possibly Anna Kisselgoff?] speaking with Merce Cunningham in front of a live audience. Session 6 is moderator Mindy [Aloff] with panelists Marianne Preger-Simon, Carolyn Brown, Victoria Finlayson, Robert Swinston, Chris Komar, and Alan Good.
Content: Title, dates, speakers, and location provided by cataloger based on handwritten notes on original cassettes and containers, and audition.
Content: Handwritten note on original cassette and container no. 1: "Merce Cunningham Symposium ; Friday, October 23, 1987, 10:00A-11:30A ; Southern Methodist University". Handwritten note on original cassette and container no. 2: "Merce Cunningham Symposium ; Friday October 23, 1987, 11:45A-1:15P ; Southern Methodist University". Handwritten note on original cassette and container no. 3: "Merce Cunningham Symposium ; Friday, October 23, 1987, 2:00P-3:15P ; Southern Methodist University". Handwritten note on original cassette and container no. 4: "Merce Cunningham Symposium ; Friday, October 23, 1987, 3:30P-4:45P ; Southern Methodist University". Handwritten note on original cassette and container no. 5: "Merce Cunningham Symposium ; Saturday, October 24, 1987, 10:00A-11:15A ; Southern Methodist University". Handwritten note on original cassette and container no. 6: "Merce Cunningham Symposium ; Saturday, October 24, 1987, 11:30A-12:45P ; Southern Methodist University".
Venue: Recorded at the Southern Methodist University in, Dallas, Texas, 1987 October 23 and 24.
Acquisition: Gift; Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation, 2011-2012.
Citation/reference: Forms part of the Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation Collection.
Physical Description
Audiocassette
Extent: 12 audio cassettes (389 minutes total) : analog
Sound quality is mostly good; in all of the streaming files most of the audience questions are inaudible due to distance from the microphone, and streaming file 2 contains recording distortion.
Description
Streaming file 1, Oct. 23, 10:00am-11:30am, side 1: Begins abruptly; moderator David Vaughan with panelists Elliot Caplan, Noël Carroll, and Joseph Celli; topics include: the collaboration between Elliot Caplan and Merce Cunningham for dance on camera projects, the translation of choreography from stage space to screen space, the differences in perception of time and aesthetics between the stage and screen, the fixity that the camera ascribes to live performance, recording the dancers without the musical element, the "Cunningham and [John] Cage philosophy" of simultaneity and independence for the mediums and collaborators in the work, the planning of editing and shots prior to shooting; works mentioned: Points in space (1986), Deli commedia (1984), Roaratorio (1983), and Variations V (1965); there is a screening of an excerpt from Points in space, ca. 8:00-14:14; ends abruptly.Streaming file 2, Oct. 23, 10:00am-11:30am, side 2: Begins abruptly; David Vaughan and panelists continue to speak in the audience question and answer period about dance on camera, the sounds of the dancers captured in the filming, Caplan's impressions of Merce Cunningham as an artist and person, and the design elements used while filming dance; works mentioned: Event for television (1976), Points in space (1986), and Channels/Inserts (1982).Streaming file 3, Oct. 23, 11:45am-1:15pm, side 1: Begins abruptly; unidentified female moderator [possibly Carolyn Brown?] with panelists David Vaughan, Sally [Banes], and Mindy [Aloff]; topics include: the movement style and elements in Merce Cunningham's choreography, viewing and writing about dance, the independence of music and dance in Cunningham's works, chance and other structures that Cunningham uses in his choreography, movement qualities and gestures in Cunningham's choreography, the viewers' process of making sense of and interpreting Cunningham's works, challenges in writing dance criticism including the differences between interpretation and description, ways that Cunningham's works influence and challenge the writings of dance critics, and audience responses to Cunningham; works mentioned: Sixteen dances for soloist and company of three (1951), Channels/Inserts (1982), review of Place (1966) by Deborah Jowitt, review of Collage III (1963) by Marcia Seigel, and Events; ends abruptly.Streaming file 4, Oct. 23, 11:45am-1:15pm, side 2: Begins abruptly; panelists David Vaughan, Sally [Banes], and Mindy [Aloff] continue to speak about Merce Cunningham's Events, and, in the audience question and answer period, some of the approaches that dance critics and historians take in viewing filmed dance, Cunningham's wit as a choreographer and performer including how Vaudeville influenced him, Cunningham's use of chance methods in his choreography, more on writing dance criticism; works mentioned: Events, Suite for five (1956), and Septet (1953).Streaming file 5, Oct. 23, 2:00pm-3:15pm, side 1: Panel on Merce Cunningham at Black Mountain College with moderator David Vaughan and panelists M.C. Richards, David Tudor, Marianne Preger-Simon, and Carolyn Brown; topics include: the history of Black Mountain College, Merce Cunningham and John Cage's performances and classes at Black Mountain College, the panelists roles in the Piège de Méduse performance directed by Cunningham and Cage at Black Mountain College in 1953, M.C. Richards speaks about Antonin Artaud's philosophy on theater and Jungian philosophy as influential to Cunningham and Cage at that time, Preger-Simon and Brown speak about their first experiences with Cunningham and the summer of 1953 at Black Mountain College, Tudor speaks about Cunningham and his explorations with using avant garde music of the time, especially in his solos with music by Christian Wolff; works mentioned: Piège de Méduse, and Suite by chance (1953).Streaming file 6, Oct. 23, 2:00pm-3:15pm, side 2: Begins abruptly; moderator David Vaughan with panelists M.C. Richards, David Tudor, Marianne Preger-Simon, and Carolyn Brown; topics include: Merce Cunningham's early explorations of using chance procedures to create solos, the challenging choreography for Labyrinthian dances, Richards speaks about her collaboration with Cunningham to create Occupe-toi d'Brunhilde (a musical farce based on Occupe-toi d'Amélie), the theme of the fool and the absurd in some of Cunningham's works, and, in the audience question and answer period, Charles Olson taking Cunningham's dance classes, and the inspiration of Black Mountain College as an artistic community; works mentioned: [Untitled] solo (1953), Lavish escapade (1956), Changeling (1957), Labyrinthian dances (1957), Antic meet (1958), and Minutiae (1954).Streaming file 7, Oct. 23, 3:30pm-4:45pm, side 1: Begins abruptly; moderator David Vaughan with panelists Noël Carroll, Joseph Celli, and Sally [Banes]; topics include: Carroll speaks about the term "post-moderism" and its relationship to various art forms (including dance) and philosophy, they discuss how the term relates to music, they discuss the term "avant-pop", Banes speaks about post-modernism, dance, and pop culture, they discuss shifts in Cunningham's works and whether he is a post-modernist, Banes speaks about Cunningham's move away from narrative in his choreography, Vaughan and Barnes speak about choreographers who could be considered avant-pop; works mentioned: Child of tree (1975), Carousal (1987), Deli commedia (1984), Variations V (1965); ends abruptly.Streaming file 8, Oct. 23, 3:30pm-4:45pm, side 2: Begins abruptly; moderator David Vaughan with panelists Noël Carroll, Joseph Celli, and Sally [Banes]; topics include: Banes and panelists continue to speak about dance trends in the 1980's that are influenced by entertainment and economics, the continuing influence of the ideas explored by Judson generation of choreographers, the ways in which post-modern dance trends relate to, further, and comment on dance history, and, in the audience question and answer period, more on commercialism, current economics and dance; work mentioned: Kinematic's Snow queen (1986).Streaming file 9, Oct. 24, 10:00am-11:15am, side 1: Begins abruptly; unidentified female interviewer [possibly Anna Kisselgoff?] speaks with Merce Cunningham in front of a live audience; Cunningham speaks about studying tap dance with Mrs. [Maude] Barrett as a child, and performing with her daughter Marjorie as a teen; Cunningham speaks about the early aesthetic inspiration of Fred Astaire and movies; they discuss the relationship of modern dance to ballet at the time of his youth, and Cunningham briefly speaks about his exposure to ballet while at the Cornish School of the Arts and as a dancer in Martha Graham's Company; Cunningham speaks about his belief that in order to be a choreographer, one should have experience as a dancer first; Cunningham briefly speaks to why he doesn't use narrative in his work; Cunningham speaks to how television and technology impact his thinking and choreography, especially the decentralization of space; they speak about reasons for his use of chance procedures, and in particular, Cunningham describes creating and performing his Untitled solo (1953); Cunningham speaks about his reasons for selecting contemporary music and composers as accompaniment to his work; Cunningham tells an anecdote about John Cage answering an audience member's question about the independence of music and dance; the interviewer compares Cunningham's collaborative methods to Sergei Diaghilev; Cunningham speaks about how touring poses constraints on stage design and costumes; Cunningham speaks about his technique and movement choices; Cunningham speaks about setting his works on ballet companies, in particular, setting Jour ou Deux (1973) on the Paris Opera Ballet; Cunningham speaks about performing in unusual and public spaces, especially the Grand Central Dances performance (1987); they briefly speak about his Events; Cunningham recalls his lawyer father; ends abruptly.Streaming file 10, Oct. 24, 10:00am-11:15am, side 2: Begins abruptly; Cunningham continues to speak with unidentified female interviewer [possibly Anna Kisselgoff?] about his upcoming travel and work plans in Europe; he speaks briefly about starting a new piece.Streaming file 11, Oct. 24, 11:30am-12:45pm, side 1: Begins abruptly with Marianne [Preger-Simon] speaking about her first encounter with Merce Cunningham in Paris; Mindy [Aloff] with panelists [Preger-Simon], Carolyn [Brown], Victoria [Finlayson], Robert [Swinston], Chris [Komar], and Alan [Good]; topics include: their interests and training outside of dance, life during the Merce Cunningham Dance Company's Volkswagon bus tours as compared to the more professionalezed nature of the newer Company, their personal and professional relationships with Cunningham, Company classes and rehearsals with Cunningham, individual approaches to being a dancer, keeping the works alive for oneself and teaching repertory to new dancers, the repetitive nature of being a professional dancer, ways they approach partnering and concentration in Cunningham's works including partnering with Cunningham; work mentioned: Channels/Inserts (1982); ends abruptly.Streaming file 12, Oct. 24, 11:30am-12:45pm, side 2: Begins abruptly; Mindy [Aloff] with panelists Marianne [Preger-Simon], Carolyn [Brown], Victoria [Finlayson], Robert [Swinston], Chris [Komar], and Alan [Good]; topics include: panelists continue to speak about partnering and dancing with new partners in Cunningham's works, changes over time in the ways Cunningham demonstrates and directs movement and rhythm with his Company dancers; work mentioned: Crises (1960), and RainForest (1968).
Type of Resource
Sound recording
Languages
English
Identifiers
RLIN/OCLC: 913886499
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b20732253
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 39133440-99b6-0136-7e70-6fd689f3699a
Rights Statement
This item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Item timeline of events

  • 1987: Created (Approximate)
  • 2018: Digitized
  • 2019: Found by you!
  • 2020

MLA Format

Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound, The New York Public Library. "Merce Cunningham Symposium at the Southern Methodist University,1987-10-23/24" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1987 - 1987. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/168c0900-b8f0-0133-de06-60f81dd2b63c

Chicago/Turabian Format

Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound, The New York Public Library. "Merce Cunningham Symposium at the Southern Methodist University,1987-10-23/24" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed September 22, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/168c0900-b8f0-0133-de06-60f81dd2b63c

APA Format

Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound, The New York Public Library. (1987 - 1987). Merce Cunningham Symposium at the Southern Methodist University,1987-10-23/24 Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/168c0900-b8f0-0133-de06-60f81dd2b63c

Wikipedia Citation

<ref name=NYPL>{{cite web | url=http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/168c0900-b8f0-0133-de06-60f81dd2b63c | title= (sound recording) Merce Cunningham Symposium at the Southern Methodist University,1987-10-23/24, (1987 - 1987) }} |author=Digital Collections, The New York Public Library |accessdate=September 22, 2019 |publisher=The New York Public Library, Astor, Lennox, and Tilden Foundation}}</ref>

Merce Cunningham Symposium at the Southern Methodist University,1987-10-23/24