Merce Cunningham's acceptance speech for the Wexner Prize of the Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State University, 1993
NamesMerce Cunningham Dance Company (Associated name)Cunningham, Merce (Speaker)Gee, E. Gordon (Elwood Gordon), 1944- (Speaker)Wexner Center for the Arts (Host)Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation (Donor)
Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation Collection. Audio materials
Dates / OriginDate Created: 1993
Library locationsRodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded SoundShelf locator: *LTC-A 1408
TopicsCage, JohnCage, John. Circus onCornish College of the Arts (Seattle, Wash.)Merce Cunningham Dance CompanyInlets 2 (Choreographic work : Cunningham)Roaratorio (Choreographic work : Cunningham)Root of an unfocus (Choreographic work : Cunningham)ChoreographyMusic and danceAward presentations (Sound recordings)
NotesContent: Title, date and location provided by cataloger based on handwritten note on original cassette, audition, and information provided by the Merce Cunningham Trust.Content: Handwritten note on original cassette: "Merce's acceptance speech".Venue: Recorded at the Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, 1993.Acquisition: Gift; Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation, 2011-2012.Citation/reference: Forms part of the Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation Collection.
Physical DescriptionAudiocassetteExtent: 1 audiocassette (28 minutes) : analogSound quality is good.
DescriptionMerce Cunningham's acceptance speech for the Wexner Prize [awarded to Cunningham and John Cage (posthumously)]; Cunningham speaks about meeting John Cage at Cornish College [of the Arts] in 1938 while a student there; he speaks about being a member of Cage's percussion group at Cornish; more on Cage's artistic philosophy; he introduces Carolyn Brown in the audience, briefly describes her as a dancer and tells an anecdote about her and Cage while on a [Merce Cunningham Dance Company] tour in a Volkswagon bus; another anecdote about driving the VW bus in a snow storm with the Company while on tour; Cunningham briefly describes his first performance program with Cage in 1944; Cage's prepared piano works for that evening, including the compositional structure of Root of an unfocus (1944); independence and interdependence between the music and the dance in their work together; he describes a lecture-demonstration given with Cage in the late 1940's; he tells a brief anecdote about dancer, Marianne Preger[-Simon]; an anecdote about an experience he had while being a dance student at Cornish; the artistic ideas that he shared with Cage, including the way these translated into aspects of the performances; Cage's regular "uniform" and reasons why he selected those particular clothes; more on Cage's interests, especially in mycology; Cunningham's interest in exploring the wide range of human movement; briefly, on continuing to create works after Cage's death; an anecdote about travel difficulties while on a performance tour in the late 1940's; several anecdotes about Cage, including one on rehearsing for his Circus on, the eventual music for Cunningham's Roaratorio (1983); more on the composition of Circus on, and briefly, the first performance of Roaratorio; an anecdote on the creation of Inlets 2 (1983); briefly, his thoughts on setting his works on other dance companies and student groups; preparations for the 1964 world tour, including anecdotes on David Vaughan and his search for international presenters; he introduces Harvey Lichtenstein in the audience and describes a set of performances given by his Company at the Brooklyn Academy of Music; an anecdote on a conflict between the Company musicians and the electricians union at BAM, and the resulting performance done in silence; the satisfaction he receives from creating movement phrases; concluding remarks and the end of the speech, ca. 23:11; recording silence ca. 23:12-24:37; awards ceremony continues with [E. Gordon] Gee, Ohio State University president, giving a brief speech, including his announcement of the purchase of Changing steps (1973) to be performed by Ohio State University dance students.
Type of ResourceSound recording
IdentifiersRLIN/OCLC: 913885988NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b20732246Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 3e2d62d0-b8ef-0133-f599-60f81dd2b63c
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