Bloomberg Muse 135, 2008
NamesCunningham, Merce (Creator)Cunningham, Merce (Interviewee)Massar, Carol (Host)Atlas, Charles (Interviewee)Cage, John (Composer)Tudor, David, 1926-1996 (Composer)Trummer, Albert (Interviewee)Dinnerstein, Simone (Interviewee)Bunn, Wilhelmina (Interviewee)Royal College of Art (Great Britain) (Sponsor)Bloomberg LP (Producer)
Merce Cunningham Video Archive
Dates / OriginDate Created: 2008
Library locationsJerome Robbins Dance DivisionShelf locator: *MGZIDF 3733
TopicsApotheke (Bar: New York, N.Y.)Ocean (Choreographic work : Cunningham)Bars (Drinking establishments)Alcoholic beveragesPianistsWomen pianistsArt auctionsModern dance
GenresFilmed performancesFilmed danceInterviews
NotesStatement of responsibility: Bloomberg L.P.Content: Title provided by cataloger, based on original container labelCreation/production credits: Lisa-Marie Mazzucco, photographer; Simon Dinnerstein, artwork; Michael Lawrence Films; Telarc International (Simone Dinnerstein segment)Venue: Recorded Fall 2008. New York City.Acquisition: Gift; Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation, 2011-2012.
Physical DescriptionVideodiscExtent: 1 videodisc (DVD) (22 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.
DescriptionA segment of Muse, the Bloomberg Media arts program, split into four different segments, each dealing with a different topic. The first segment focuses on a staging of the Merce Cunningham/John Cage piece Ocean in a rock quarry near St. Cloud, Minnesota, from September 11-13, 2008. After some footage of preparations at the quarry and the dancers in rehearsal, Cunningham is interviewed regarding the genesis of the work and the process of its creation following John Cage's death. (1:15) He also discusses the inspiration behind the piece, a quote by writer Joseph Campbell. (2:09) The staging, blocking, use of Cunningham's 'chance operations' and training process for the dancers performing the piece are then discussed. (2:33) This is followed by a discussion of the score and sound patterns for the performance. (3:57) Cunningham then briefly discusses his use of the DanceForms software program to create choreography. (4:50). This leads directly into an interview of Charles Atlas, who speaks about the use of film and video in the piece, and his longtime collaboration with Cunningham. (5:15) As in many Merce Cunningham works, there is little direct correlation between the music and the dance in Ocean, and Cunningham speaks about this to close the segment. (5:40) The second segment profiles the then newly opened cocktail bar, Apotheke, located in Manhattan's Chinatown, and its mixologist, Albert Trummer, practicing the 'art of alcohol'. The bar is meant to evoke a 19th-century apothecary, and was at the forefront of the trend toward natural ingredients, meticulously designed drink recipes and slightly altered revivals of classic cocktails which became dominant in New York City nightlife of the time. Trummer is interviewed regarding the atmosphere the bar and libations are meant to create, and is shown performing his crowdpleasing trick of setting several drinks and bottles of liquor on fire simultaneously (for which the New York City Fire Department, taking a dimmer view, would ultimately arrest him in 2010.) (6:40) The following segment focuses on pianist Simone Dinnerstein and her recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations, which jumpstarted her international career. (12:30) As the section begins, Dinnerstein talks about how she began her study of piano in childhood. (12:45) She then discusses her decision to learn the Variations, a notoriously difficult piece, during her pregnancy and in the time after her son's birth. (13:40) The eventual result was her desire to record the piece, which necessitated dedicated fundraising (14:49) Dinnerstein closes the piece by discussing what she hopes to accomplish in the future, and the balance between her career and family life. (16:18) The final piece focuses on RCA Secret, the annual student fundraiser at the Royal College of Art, London. (17:20) Uniquely designed postcards, some by students and some by noted artists such as David Hockney, Tracy Emin, Damien Hirst, Yoko Ono, and both Paul and Stella McCartney are put on sale for $65 each, but the identity of any given artist remains unknown until the postcard has been purchased. This, of course, allows some lucky buyers to sell or auction their purchases for amounts far greater than what they paid. Curator Wilhelmina Bunn discusses the annual public reaction to the sale, and the guessing game that attendance and purchasing require. (18:04)
Type of ResourceMoving image
IdentifiersRLIN/OCLC: 922889636NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b20809321Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 179db210-a9ae-0133-3af6-60f81dd2b63c
Rights StatementThis 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