Interview with Carolyn Brown and Marianne Preger-Simon: and live performance of unidentified chorus and orchestra music, 1983-05-29
NamesMerce Cunningham Dance Company (Associated name)Brown, Carolyn, 1927- (Interviewee)Preger-Simon, Marianne (Interviewee)Vaughan, David, 1924- (Interviewer)
Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation Collection. Audio materials
Dates / OriginDate Created: 1983-05-29
Library locationsRodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded SoundShelf locator: *LTC-A 1468
TopicsBrown, Carolyn, 1927-Preger-Simon, MarianneCage, JohnCharlip, RemyCunningham, MerceMelsher, JoanneRauschenberg, Robert, 1925-2008Merce Cunningham Dance CompanyBanjo (Choreographic work : Cunningham)Dime a dance (Choreographic work : Cunningham)Galaxy (Choreographic work : Cunningham)Minutiae (Choreographic work : Cunningham)Springweather and people (Choreographic work : Cunningham)Suite by chance (Choreographic work : Cunningham)ChoreographyChoruses, Secular (Equal voices) with orchestraMusic and dance
NotesContent: David Vaughan interviews Carolyn Brown and Marianne Preger-Simon, likely in New York, New York on May 29, 1983. This interview was taken as research for David Vaughan's book, Merce Cunningham: Fifty years (New York, Aperture).Content: Title and date provided by cataloger based on audition and handwritten note on original cassette and container.Content: Handwritten note on original container: "Carolyn Brown Interview 1983". Handwritten note on original cassette: "1. Interview with Carolyn Brown and Marianne Preger, 29 May 1983".Venue: Recorded in, New York, New York, 1983 May 29.Venue: Recorded in live performance.Acquisition: Gift; Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation, 2011-2012.Citation/reference: Forms part of the Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation Collection.
Physical DescriptionAudiocassetteExtent: 1 audiocassette (90 minutes) : analogSound quality is mostly good; occasionally the speakers are some distance from the microphone and difficult to hear. There are a few moments of several other unidentified speakers on the recording.
DescriptionStreaming file 1, side 1: Begins abruptly; Carolyn Brown and Marianne Preger-Simon speak with David Vaughan about dancer Joanne Melsher, including her roles in Banjo (1953) and Septet (1953), and reasons she left the [Merce Cunningham Dance] Company in 1955; more about Melsher, including performing with Merce Cunningham in a production of Brigadoon, and a solo she choreographed and performed with John Cage; they briefly speak about the dancers working with Cunningham prior to the 1953 formation of the Company; they speak about Minutiae (1954), including the original cast and subsequent versions with one less dancer; they speak about their memories of the 6th Avenue studio where Cunningham choreographed Minutiae; they speak about Springweather and people (1955), including its music by Earle Brown, Indices; they tell an anecdote about a performance of Suite by chance (1952) and speak about the challenges of dancing it; they speak about the Company activities during the summer of 1953, including memories of their time at Black Mountain College; more about Springweather and people, especially the movements they remember from it; they speak about the original costumes for Springweather by Remy Charlip and they list other works for which Charlip designed costumes; [brief recording breaks]; Preger speaks about spraining her ankle at Black Mountain College and being unable to perform opening night; they speak briefly about Anita Dencks having the mumps at Black Mountain; Preger speaks more about how she sprained her ankle in rehearsal for Dime a dance (1953); they speak about the short dances in Dime a dance including the dancers that performed each and later works which incorporated parts of Dime; they speak briefly about Cunningham's choreographic notes; Brown tells an anecdote about Charlip interviewing Cunningham for a Dance Magazine article; they speak about writing their respective books and how to include sensitive information; they speak briefly about Changeling (1957); [brief recording break]; they speak about Galaxy and each of the performer's roles in it; Preger-Simon recalls telling Cunningham she was leaving the Company and Brown tells an anecdote about missing Preger-Simon; they list the Company members that joined after Preger-Simon's departure; [brief recording break]; they speak about Fragments (1953); ends abruptly.
Streaming file 2, side 2: Begins abruptly; Carolyn Brown and Marianne Preger-Simon continue to speak with David Vaughan about Fragments (1953); they speak about reasons for works not being kept in the repertory especially Labyrinthian dances (1957), a revival of Antic meet (1958), Squaregame (1976), and Exchange (1978); Vaughan speaks about Charles Atlas's filming of Exchange; [brief recording break]; they speak about Merce Cunningham's solos, especially in Septet (1953) and Sixteen dances for soloist and a company of three (1951); [brief recording break]; they speak about the Company's residency at Connecticut College in the summer of 1958, including Cunningham's classes, and rehearsals for Antic meet and Summerspace (1958); Brown tells an anecdote about Cunningham's frustration with using a record in rehearsal for Septet and later, David Tudor's live playing of the music; Vaughan tells a brief anecdote about Tudor playing the music for Banjo (1953); they speak about Picnic polka (1957) including the movement style that references square dancing; they speak about the costumes for Labyrinthian dances by Robert Rauschenberg; they speak more about Banjo, the way Joanne Melsher danced it, and Melsher's strengths as a dancer; they speak about Remy Charlip as a dancer; Brown tells an anecdote about Charlip dancing with Cunningham in a performance; [brief recording break]; Brown speaks about a part of a costume by Charlip that was accidentally discarded and her wish to keep her original costume for RainForest (1968); [ca. 16:32, recording ends abruptly]; [ca. 16:33-, recording of unidentified chorus and orchestra music]; ends abruptly.
Type of ResourceSound recording
IdentifiersRLIN/OCLC: 914487291NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b20750280Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 458c47c0-b90a-0133-b310-60f81dd2b63c
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