Merce Cunningham speaks about Black Mountain College at the Center for Public Television: and, Cunningham's acceptance speech for the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement in Choreography, 1986-06-15/1982-06
NamesMerce Cunningham Dance Company (Associated name)Cunningham, Merce (Speaker)Cunningham, Merce (Interviewee)American Dance Festival (Host)University of Alabama. Center for Public Television (Host)Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation (Donor)
Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation Collection. Audio materials
Dates / OriginDate Created: 1986-06-15Date Created: 1982-06 (Questionable)
Library locationsRodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded SoundShelf locator: *LTC-A 1406
TopicsCage, JohnCunningham, MerceRauschenberg, Robert, 1925-2008Black Mountain College (Black Mountain, N.C.)Merce Cunningham Dance CompanyDance -- Study and teachingAward presentations (Sound recordings)
NotesContent: Title, dates and location provided by cataloger based on handwritten note on original container and cassette, and audition.Content: Handwritten note on original container and cassette: "M. Cunningham on Black Mountain College ; Center for Public TV 6/15/86 ; Sam Scripps Award Ceremony - 1982".Venue: Recorded at the University of Alabama's Center for Public Television, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 1986 June 15.Venue: Recorded at the American Dance Festival awards ceremony at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, 1982 [probably June?].Acquisition: Gift; Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation, 2011-2012.Citation/reference: Forms part of the Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation Collection.
Physical DescriptionAudiocassetteExtent: 1 audiocassette 36 min.) : analog, stereo, Dolby ; 3 7/8 x 2 1/2 in., 1/8 in. tapeSound quality is mostly good; in streaming file 1, Merce Cunningham is clear, however, the interviewer is mostly inaudible due to her distance from the microphone.
DescriptionStreaming file 1, side 1: Unidentified interviewer asks Merce Cunningham about Black Mountain College [nearly inaudible due to distance from the microphone]; Cunningham speaks about his first visit to Black Mountain College with John Cage and being invited to teach during summer sessions; more on the summer classes that he taught; classes that Cage taught on Erik Satie and the culminating performance of Le piège de Méduse; the impact of hearing Buckminster Fuller's lecture that summer; more on the school and other teachers there, including Josef Albers and "Bill" [Willem] de Kooning; returning to teach another summer with a group of his [Merce Cunningham Dance Company] dancers; rehearsing with his Company dancers in the dining hall and the culminating summer performances; his impression of the school's students and the intellectual climate there; he describes Cage's "happening" performance that summer, including the structure of the performance and the other artist collaborators involved; his first impressions of Robert Rauschenberg, a student of Black Mountain College at that time; Rauschenberg's first set piece for the Cunningham Company; more on working with his Company dancers that summer; a brief anecdote of an observation made by Mrs. Rice [Nell Aydelotte]; briefly, in response to the interviewer's question, on Charles Olson at Black Mountain College; more on Cage's original ideas for his "happening"; briefly lists some of the influential painters who were students and teachers at Black Mountain College as well as the impact of socializing with the visual artists while there; the College's focus on an arts education; the similarities between Black Mountain College and the Cornish School [of the Arts (where Cunningham attended)]; ca. 26:53, interview ends; ca. 27:00, new recording begins of Cunningham's acceptance speech for the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement in Choreography; Cunningham lists performances of the 1982 festival; briefly, the history of the locations for the festival; Cunningham briefly describes his first Company and Black Mountain College; influential thinkers, artists and musicians that he met at Black Mountain College; ends abruptly.
Streaming file 2, side 2: Merce Cunningham's acceptance speech continues; he thanks his supporters and collaborators, including David Vaughan, John Cage, and other [Merce Cunningham Dance Company] administrators; he thanks his dancers; he describes reasons for his devotion to dance as an art form; ca. 4:12, the speech ends and audience applause.
Type of ResourceSound recording
IdentifiersRLIN/OCLC: 914895183NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b20751097Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 7a8c2400-b90b-0133-c970-60f81dd2b63c
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