Interview with Merce Cunningham and Charles Atlas, 1982-10-04

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Title
Interview with Merce Cunningham and Charles Atlas, 1982-10-04
Names
Merce Cunningham Dance Company (Associated name)
Atlas, Charles (Interviewee)
Cunningham, Merce (Interviewee)
Vaughan, David, 1924- (Interviewer)
Collection

Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation Collection. Audio materials

Dates / Origin
Date Created: 1982-10-04
Library locations
Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound
Shelf locator: *LTC-A 1471
Topics
Atlas, Charles
Cunningham, Merce
Merce Cunningham Dance Company
Blue studio: five segments (Choreographic work : Cunningham)
Channels/Inserts (Choreographic work : Cunningham)
Locale (Choreographic work : Cunningham)
Westbeth (Choreographic work : Cunningham)
Choreography
Dance in motion pictures, television, etc
Genres
Interviews
Notes
Content: David Vaughan interviews Merce Cunningham and Charles Atlas, likely in New York, New York on October 4, 1982. 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: "MC/CA 1982". Handwritten note on original cassette: "A. MC/CA ; 4 Oct 1982".
Venue: Recorded in, New York, New York, 1982 October 4.
Acquisition: Gift; Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation, 2011-2012.
Citation/reference: Forms part of the Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation Collection.
Physical Description
Audiocassette
Extent: 1 audiocassette (45 minutes) : analog
Sound quality is mostly good; occasionally the speakers are some distance from the microphone and difficult to hear.
Description
Merce Cunningham and Charles Atlas speak with David Vaughan about their film and video collaborations; they speak about their first video collaboration, Westbeth (1974), especially the investigation of how the moving body works with a fixed camera; they speak about the use of multi cameras in Locale (1977); they speak about how the studio space in which they shot defined limitations of the videos including the example of Blue studio: five segments (1975); more about the moving cameras used to film Locale and Cunningham's aim to capture the energy of the dancing; Cunningham speaks about the intimacy the cameras create and his interest in making the dancers appear "human"; they speak about the range of depth in a camera frame and Cunningham speaks about ways to creatively deal with that range including shifting the camera angle; Atlas speaks about the strategies used to create a sense of reality including continuity in shooting and editing; Cunningham speaks about thinking through the way dance is presented on camera space, especially as a shift from stage presentation; they speak about the use of multiple spaces in Channels/Inserts (1982) to create effects; they speak about watching sports on television; Cunningham tells an anecdote about a recent conversation with a television producer; they speak about their creative process together, especially how they brainstorm and take camera tests for new projects in the studio; they speak about the logistical planning and systems they use for filming; Cunningham speaks about rehearsing prior to, and remaking the dance phrases as they film; they speak about the independence between the music and the choreography, and how they work with this in filming; Atlas speaks about how they shoot the dancing continuously; Cunningham speaks about the challenges of the dance for camera projects, especially in dealing with the multiple details and directing the dancers; Cunningham speaks about preparing his [Merce Cunningham Dance Company] dancers for the filming; they speak about communicating about problems during filming; Cunningham speaks about the timing of dance on camera and how he remedies "dead time"; Atlas speaks about watching the rehearsals prior to filming; Cunningham speaks about how he watches movies in a different way and Atlas speaks about his preference for movies over television; Cunningham speaks about adapting his choreography for stage performances after a work has been made for the camera especially in terms of how the eye of the viewer relates to the framing; they speak about the possibility of refilming after the dancers have integrated the works through performing them over time.
Type of Resource
Sound recording
Languages
English
Identifiers
RLIN/OCLC: 914488993
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b20750288
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): ac6bc600-b90a-0133-4110-60f81dd2b63c
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

  • 1982: Created
  • 2022: Found by you!
  • 2023

MLA Format

Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound, The New York Public Library. "Interview with Merce Cunningham and Charles Atlas, 1982-10-04" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1982. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/b0521840-b90a-0133-2d14-60f81dd2b63c

Chicago/Turabian Format

Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound, The New York Public Library. "Interview with Merce Cunningham and Charles Atlas, 1982-10-04" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed December 8, 2022. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/b0521840-b90a-0133-2d14-60f81dd2b63c

APA Format

Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound, The New York Public Library. (1982). Interview with Merce Cunningham and Charles Atlas, 1982-10-04 Retrieved from https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/b0521840-b90a-0133-2d14-60f81dd2b63c

Wikipedia Citation

<ref name=NYPL>{{cite web | url=https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/b0521840-b90a-0133-2d14-60f81dd2b63c | title= (sound recording) Interview with Merce Cunningham and Charles Atlas, 1982-10-04, (1982)|author=Digital Collections, The New York Public Library |accessdate=December 8, 2022 |publisher=The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations}}</ref>

Interview with Merce Cunningham and Charles Atlas, 1982-10-04