Interview with Merce Cunningham and Charles Atlas, 1982-10-04
NamesMerce Cunningham Dance Company (Associated name)Atlas, Charles (Interviewee)Cunningham, Merce (Interviewee)Vaughan, David, 1924- (Interviewer)
Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation Collection. Audio materials
Dates / OriginDate Created: 1982-10-04
Library locationsRodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded SoundShelf locator: *LTC-A 1471
TopicsAtlas, CharlesCunningham, MerceMerce Cunningham Dance CompanyBlue studio: five segments (Choreographic work : Cunningham)Channels/Inserts (Choreographic work : Cunningham)Locale (Choreographic work : Cunningham)Westbeth (Choreographic work : Cunningham)ChoreographyDance in motion pictures, television, etc
NotesContent: 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 DescriptionAudiocassetteExtent: 1 audiocassette (45 minutes) : analogSound quality is mostly good; occasionally the speakers are some distance from the microphone and difficult to hear.
DescriptionMerce 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 ResourceSound recording
IdentifiersRLIN/OCLC: 914488993NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b20750288Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): ac6bc600-b90a-0133-4110-60f81dd2b63c
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