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Bloomberg Muse 135, 2008

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Bloomberg Muse 135, 2008
Additional title: Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation Collection
Cunningham, Merce (interviewee.)
Massar, Carol (host.)
Atlas, Charles (filmmaker.)
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

Merce Cunningham Video Archive

Dates / Origin
Date Captured: 2008
Other Date: © 2008.
Library locations
Jerome Robbins Dance Division
Shelf locator: *MGZIDF 3733
Apotheke (Bar: New York, N.Y.)
Ocean (Choreographic work : Cunningham)
Bars (Drinking establishments)
Alcoholic beverages
Women pianists
Art auctions
two-dimensional moving image
Filmed performances
Filmed dance
Filmed interviews
Anthology television programs
Television interviews
Statement of responsibility: Bloomberg L.P.
Title provided by cataloger, based on original container label
Creation/production credits: Lisa-Marie Mazzucco, photographer; Simon Dinnerstein, artwork; Michael Lawrence Films; Telarc International (Simone Dinnerstein segment)
Performers: Carol Massar, host; Merce Cunningham, Charles Atlas, Albert Trummer, Simone Dinnerstein, Wilhelmina Bunn, interviewees.
Venue: Recorded Fall 2008. New York City.
System details: Streaming video.
Acquisition: Gift; Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation, 2011-2012.
Forms part of the Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation Collection.
Physical Description
Extent: 1 streaming video file (22 min) : sound, color
A 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 Resource
Moving image
RLIN/OCLC: 922889636
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b20809321
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 179db210-a9ae-0133-3af6-60f81dd2b63c
Copyright Notice
Patrons can access streaming video file online only on site at the Library for the Performing Arts.
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

  • : Other
  • 2008: Captured
  • 2019: Found by you!
  • 2020

MLA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Bloomberg Muse 135, 2008" The New York Public Library Digital Collections.

Chicago/Turabian Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Bloomberg Muse 135, 2008" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed July 21, 2019.

APA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. Bloomberg Muse 135, 2008 Retrieved from

Wikipedia Citation

<ref name=NYPL>{{cite web | url= | title= (moving image) Bloomberg Muse 135, 2008 }} |author=Digital Collections, The New York Public Library |accessdate=July 21, 2019 |publisher=The New York Public Library, Astor, Lennox, and Tilden Foundation}}</ref>

Bloomberg Muse 135, 2008