Interview with Dorothy Berea Silver, 1978-11-03

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Title
Interview with Dorothy Berea Silver, 1978-11-03
Names
Merce Cunningham Dance Company (Associated name)
Berea, Dorothy (Interviewee)
Vaughan, David, 1924- (Interviewer)
Collection

Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation Collection. Audio materials

Dates / Origin
Date Created: 1978-11-03
Library locations
Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound
Shelf locator: *LTC-A 1194
Topics
Berea, Dorothy
Cage, John
Churchill, Mili
Cunningham, Merce
Goff, Eleanor
Neumann, Natanya
Merce Cunningham Dance Company
Diversion (Choreographic work : Cunningham)
Dromenon (Choreographic work : Cunningham)
Pool of darkness (Choreographic work : Cunningham)
Sixteen dances for soloist and company of three (Choreographic work : Cunningham)
Genres
Interviews
Notes
Content: Title provided by cataloger based on audition and handwritten note on original container.
Content: Handwritten note on original container: "Dorothy Berea Silver ; Greensboro, North Carolina ; 3 November 1978".
Content: David Vaughan interviews Dorothy Berea Silver in Greensboro, North Carolina on November 3, 1978. This interview was created as research for David Vaughan's book, Merce Cunningham: Fifty years (New York, Aperture).
Numbering: Donor's inventory number: C371.
Venue: Recorded in, Greensboro, North Carolina, 1978 November 3.
Acquisition: Gift; Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation, 2011-2012.
Citation/reference: Forms part of the Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation Collection.
Physical Description
Audiocassette
Extent: 1 audio cassette (44 minutes) : analog
Sound quality is mostly good; at times the interviewee is slightly muffled.
Description
Begins abruptly, Dorothy Berea [Silver] speaks with David Vaughan about the scarcity of photographs of Merce Cunningham's works from the early 1940's, especially Root of the unfocus (1944) and Totem ancestor (1942); Vaughan briefly speaks about his first experiences seeing the Merce Cunningham Dance Company performances in New York, 1953; Berea speaks about Eleanor Goff recommending Merce Cunningham's dance classes to her in the fall of 1946; more on Cunningham's classes at the Dance Player Studios on 56th street, including anecdotes on John Cage as the class accompanist; Berea compares Cunningham's current technique classes to the early era classes, including the material that she teaches; briefly, relates a Cunningham class exercise - the eight directions - with the opening movements of the Sixteen dances for soloist and company of three (1951); they discuss a specific Cunningham movement that Silver recalls and demonstrates; Berea speaks about her "body memory" of the Cunningham technique; Berea speaks about simultaneously dancing with the Martha Graham Company and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company; her admiration of the organized way Cunningham worked with his dancers; more on the various rehearsal studios in the late 1940's and early 1950's; they discuss the first piece Berea performed in as a Company member, Dromenon (1947); Berea recalls and demonstrates some of the movements from Dromenon; they discuss the costuming of Dromenon and other costumes from early Cunningham works; Berea speaks about Cage's pine branch headdresses for Dromenon; Berea briefly compares the ritual style of Dromenon with a piece for Ballet Society from the same year, Seasons (1947); Berea speaks about Cunningham's reluctance to discuss the subjects of his works in rehearsals and deciding to make her own meanings of the material unless Cunningham gave her a correction on her approach; they speculate on possible precursors and works related to Dromenon - Princess zondilda and her entourage (1946) and Four walls (1944); they discuss another work that Berea danced in, Diverson (1948); Berea recalls the costumes for Diversion; Berea speaks briefly about the opening of Pool of darkness (1950) and the atmosphere of rehearsals for it; she speaks about dancing Tanaquil LeClerqc's role in Amores (1949); Berea recalls the physical similarities between herself and fellow Company dancer, Mili Churchill; they speak about another Company dancer, Natanya Neumann and her recent death; Berea speaks briefly about being pregnant and teaching her role in Sixteen dances to Neumann; they speak about the Company's 1952 performances at Brandeis University and Berea's resignation before those performances; more about Sixteen dances, including her enjoyment of dancing it and the costumes for it; they briefly discuss other cast members of Sixteen dances; Berea speaks about other Company members from her era: Churchill, Goff and her ex-husband Seymour Krim, Judith Martin, and Sara Hamill; Berea briefly speaks about the struggles of being a dancer; more on Cunningham's dance classes and the challenges she faced in them, ends abruptly.
Type of Resource
Sound recording
Languages
English
Identifiers
RLIN/OCLC: 900292173
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b20516336
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 6d6113d0-b82d-0133-4d49-60f81dd2b63c
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

  • 1978: Created
  • 2021: Found by you!
  • 2022

MLA Format

Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound, The New York Public Library. "Interview with Dorothy Berea Silver, 1978-11-03" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1978. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/71f55dd0-b82d-0133-9dd9-60f81dd2b63c

Chicago/Turabian Format

Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound, The New York Public Library. "Interview with Dorothy Berea Silver, 1978-11-03" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed October 20, 2021. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/71f55dd0-b82d-0133-9dd9-60f81dd2b63c

APA Format

Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound, The New York Public Library. (1978). Interview with Dorothy Berea Silver, 1978-11-03 Retrieved from https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/71f55dd0-b82d-0133-9dd9-60f81dd2b63c

Wikipedia Citation

<ref name=NYPL>{{cite web | url=https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/71f55dd0-b82d-0133-9dd9-60f81dd2b63c | title= (sound recording) Interview with Dorothy Berea Silver, 1978-11-03, (1978)|author=Digital Collections, The New York Public Library |accessdate=October 20, 2021 |publisher=The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations}}</ref>

Interview with Dorothy Berea Silver, 1978-11-03