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 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 teachingDance
GenresAward presentations (Sound recordings)Television programsSpeechesInterviews
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 DescriptionExtent: 2 streaming audio files (36 minutes total) : digital, stereoSound 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, 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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