Grand Central Dances: Merce Cunningham Dance Company rehearsal and interview, 1987-10-09
NamesCunningham, Merce (Creator)Cunningham, Merce (Interviewee)
Merce Cunningham Video Archive
Dates / OriginDate Created: 1987-10-09
Library locationsJerome Robbins Dance DivisionShelf locator: *MGZIDF 3751
TopicsCunningham, MerceEvent (Choreographic work : Cunningham)ChoreographersModern danceRehearsals
NotesContent: Title provided by cataloger, based on original container label; statement of responsibility and credits taken from documents provided by Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation.Performers: Merce Cunningham, interviewee; unknown interviewers. Rehearsal dances performed by members of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.Venue: Recorded 1987, October 9. Grand Central Station, New York City.Acquisition: Gift; Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation, 2011-2012.
Physical DescriptionVideocassetteExtent: 1 videocassette (VHS) (57 min.) : sound, color ; 1/2 in.
DescriptionRehearsal footage and an audio-only interview with Merce Cunningham conducted during rehearsals for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company's contribution to the event Grand Central Dances. This performance was part of an evening created by the arts organization Dancing In The Streets in which multiple dance companies and individual dancers performed at various locations within and around Grand Central, providing free entertainment for all passing through the station. The Cunningham piece for which rehearsals are shown is, per a contemporary New York Times review, simply titled "Event". During this rehearsal footage, the off-screen voices of the unknown director and camerapeople filming the event can be heard. Following the rehearsal footage and a couple of sound checks, there is an audio-only interview with Merce Cunningham regarding the piece and the event. Topics in order of discussion include: the genesis of the piece for the Grand Central Dances project; the challenges and positive aspects of performing in an open, uncontrolled environment such as Grand Central Station; audience response and the chance to expose new audiences to dance that are provided by a free, spontaneous attendance event; the need of any special choreography for the unique space; the ways in which space and time were incorporated into the choreography; Cunningham's personal view of Grand Central Station and whether the act of creating this piece has changed that viewpoint at all; the music created for the piece; how dancers handle performing in an open space where the public surrounds them and has direct access to them; the relationship between the music for the piece, generated as a free-form composition by the musicians as the performance was taking place, and Cunningham's choreography.
Type of ResourceMoving image
IdentifiersRLIN/OCLC: 922889456NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b20809310Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 9fa6c3d0-a9ab-0133-1679-60f81dd2b63c
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