Interview with Merce Cunningham, 1984-04-27
NamesMerce Cunningham Dance Company (Associated name)Cunningham, Merce (Interviewee)Vaughan, David, 1924- (Interviewer)
Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation Collection. Audio materials
Dates / OriginDate Created: 1984-04-27
Library locationsRodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded SoundShelf locator: *LTC-A 1200
TopicsCunningham, MerceMerce Cunningham Dance CompanyNational Endowment for the Arts. Dance Program4 American composersLillian Gish (Motion picture)Strokes of genius (Television program)Dance companies -- United StatesDance in motion pictures, television, etc
NotesContent: Title provided by cataloger based on audition and handwritten notes on original cassette and container.Content: Handwritten notes on original cassette and container: "Interview with Merce Cunningham, 27 April 1984".Content: David Vaughan interviews Merce Cunningham, probably in New York, New York, on April 27, 1984. This interview was created as research for David Vaughan's book, Merce Cunningham: Fifty years (New York, Aperture).Numbering: Donor's inventory number: C377.Venue: Recorded in, [New York, New York], 1984 April 27.Acquisition: Gift; Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation, 2011-2012.
Physical DescriptionAudiocassetteExtent: 1 audiocassette (29 min.) : analog, 7 1/2 ips, full-track, mono, NAB ; 7 in.Sound quality is mostly good; there are occasional background noises and at times the interviewee is slightly muffled.
DescriptionMerce Cunningham speaks with David Vaughan about how dance as a profession has changed since he started; Cunningham speaks about the NEA touring program [National Endowment for the Arts, Dance Program] that his [Merce Cunningham Dance] Company participated in, and ways in which it impacted the dance profession; Cunningham speaks about the increase of dance companies in France, especially as compared to his 1949 visit to Paris; briefly, his opinion on the current trends in choreography; Cunningham speaks about seeing a movie on [Jackson] Pollack [part of the Strokes of genius (1984), television mini-series], and compares dance to the abstract expressionist movement in visual art; Vaughan's brief opinion on dance developmentally lagging behind other arts; they discuss a greater public acceptance of dance; briefly, Cunningham speaks about the commodification of painting in the United States as compared to dance; briefly, on building a following for his own Company; Cunningham's opinion that dance should be shown on television more frequently, and why the public television stations backed away from showing dance; Vaughan speaks about current ballet companies performing the works of "avant garde" choreographers such as Cunningham, Lucinda Childs and Karole Armitage; Cunningham speaks about the differences between "modern dance's interest in movement and ballet's interest in ballet conventions"; Cunningham's opinion that ballet choreographers get hampered by style, with the exception of George Balanchine; they speak about ballet and steps; [ca. 18:05 recording ends and new recording begins abruptly]; Cunningham speaks about an unidentified performance that he attended; more on the Pollock movie; they speak about director Peter Greenaway's film on John Cage, [part of the Four American composers (1983), television mini-series] including its screenings at the Kitchen, New York; Cunningham speaks about the Four American composers film on Meredith Monk; Cunningham speaks about the documentary film Lillian Gish (1983) and his admiration of her; they briefly speak about Claudette Colbert; Cunningham speaks about receiving an award to be an Honorary Member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and names the other past award recipients; ends abruptly.
Type of ResourceSound recording
IdentifiersRLIN/OCLC: 902650601NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b20522334Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 3b447cb0-b838-0133-befc-60f81dd2b63c
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