Interviews with Heinz-Klaus Metzger and David Vaughan, 1987-11-13
NamesCunningham, Merce (Creator)Metzger, Heinz-Klaus (Interviewee)Vaughan, David, 1924- (Interviewee)Vaughan, David, 1924- (Interviewer)Caplan, Elliot (Interviewer)Caplan, Elliot (Photographer)
Merce Cunningham Video Archive
Dates / OriginDate Created: 1987-11-13Place: Frankfurt am Main, Germany, en route to Metz, France
Library locationsJerome Robbins Dance DivisionShelf locator: *MGZIDF 5044
TopicsMetzger, Heinz-KlausMusic criticsOpera -- 20th centuryTheaters -- Fires and fire preventionComposersArchivistsDance -- History -- United StatesModern dance -- History
NotesContent: Title provided by cataloger, based on review of media content.Acquisition: Gift; Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation, 2011-2012.
Physical DescriptionVideocassetteExtent: 1 videocassette (Video8) (87 min) : sound, color ; 8mm
DescriptionAn interview conducted by Merce Cunningham Dance Company archivist David Vaughan with German music critic and theorist Heinz Klaus Metzger, regarding his personal and working relationships with John Cage and Merce Cunningham. Vaughan begins by asking Metzger about the early years of his association with Cage and Cunningham, and their first project together, translating Cages texts and writing critical works as part of introducing his work to a German, as well as larger European, audience. He then discusses how that connection has endured over time, up to his then recent collaboration with Cage on an opera, Europera 1 and 2, commissioned for the Frankfurter Opera. (9:10) Following discussion of the dramatic and unexpected roadblocks encountered while staging the work, Metzger discusses the interaction of the European singers and musicians with the challenging new piece. This is extrapolated by Vaughan into a wider discussion of the difficulties performers from outside the Cage/Cunningham milieu have had in relating to their creative methods. (16:00) Metzger is then asked to relate his initial reactions upon first hearing Cages work in the 1950s, with special focus on the similarities and differences to the output of European composers of the period. (18:10) He then speaks about his personal experience of Cage as a friend. (21:01) He then discusses his first impressions of Cage and Cunninghams frequent collaborator, David Tudor. (26:40) This segues into a consideration of the Cage/Cunningham collaboration over the decades, its influence on other choreographers, and the difficulties many more conventional audiences encounter in responding to their work. (27:39) Cage and Cunninghams wider influence on artistic fields and cultural movements outside the worlds of dance and music, on both a local and global level, is then discussed. (30:29) Following the end of the interview, a series of German newspapers detailing the opera house fire that has caused the need for a new venue for the Cage/Cunningham piece are shown for an extended period. (41:40) After this, David Vaughan is interviewed while aboard the Paris-to-Metz train en route to a series of John Cage concerts. He is asked about his first visit to New York in 1950 and his earliest encounter there, as a student, with Merce Cunningham and John Cage, among other early dance-related experiences within the dance and art scenes of the time. (50:51) Vaughan then speaks about the major contributions Cunningham has brought to dance choreography. (1:01:41) The conversation shifts to a discussion of Cages influence on Cunninghams work and the broader world of the arts in general. (1:04:20) Vaughan then speaks about the reasons he is interested in both ballet and modern dance simultaneously. ( 1:14:50) This broadens into a discussion of the history of and activities involved in his work as a historian and archivist at the Cunningham Dance Company. (1:16:45) The remainder of the material consists of city footage from a moving car and footage taken inside the home of two older English-speaking Frenchwomen. From what is said, it appears that this was the home in which filmmaker Elliot Caplan was staying during the Cage season in Metz. (1:21:43)
Type of ResourceMoving image
IdentifiersRLIN/OCLC: 950971464NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b20970071Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 79a899f0-2d76-0137-644d-02fe8fab5032
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