Interview with Frédéric Gafner, 1995
NamesGafner, Frédéric (Interviewee)Witchel, Leigh, 1963- (Interviewer)
Dance Audio Archive
Dates / OriginDate Created: 1995-09-06
Library locationsJerome Robbins Dance DivisionShelf locator: *MGZTCO 2-3040
TopicsGafner, FrédéricCunningham, MerceMerce Cunningham Dance Company
NotesContent: Title supplied by cataloger.Venue: Recorded by Leigh Witchel 1995Funding: The conservation and cataloging of this recording was made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. The support of the National Endowment for the Arts is also gratefully acknowledged.
Physical DescriptionAudiocassetteExtent: 3 microcassettes (approximately 2 hr., 45 min.) : analog, 0.9375 ips, polyester, half-trackSound quality is fair. The recording is marred by significant extraneous noise in streaming files 1-3, but the speakers' voices are easily intelligible.
DescriptionInterview with Frédéric Gafner conducted by Leigh Witchel on September 6, 1995. The location is not identified, but the first approximately 60 minutes are in a restaurant.
Streaming file 1 (approximately 31 minutes). Frédéric Gafner speaks with Leigh Witchel about his early dance training, in Switzerland; his first becoming interested in Merce Cunningham upon reading Cunningham's book The dancer and the dance (1985); his participation in ballet competitions; dancing with the Stuttgart Ballet [Stuttgarter Ballett]; his interest in contemporary dance even when he was still primarily dancing ballet; the weightlessness of ballet movement in the absence of music [ends abruptly but continues on streaming file 2].
Streaming file 2 (approximately 31 minutes). Frédéric Gafner speaks with Leigh Witchel about leaving the Stuttgart Ballet to study with Merce Cunningham; the ubiquity of speed in daily life (for example, airplanes and automobiles and as seen on television) as a stimulus to push his own body; reasons he chose to dance with Cunningham's company [Merce Cunningham Dance Company] rather than continuing with ballet; performing Cunningham's work including the role of virtuosity; the qualities Gafner looks for in other dancers [ends abruptly but continues on streaming file 3].
Streaming 3 (approximately 31 minutes). Frédéric Gafner speaks with Leigh Witchel about dancing for Merce Cunningham including Cunningham's tendency not to explicitly state his intentions regarding a specific work; the qualities Gafner looks for in a dance; how Gafner feels about dancing; more on performing Cunningham's works, including dances made on him [ends abruptly but continues on streaming file 4].
Streaming file 4 (approximately 29 minutes). Frédéric Gafner speaks with Leigh Witchel further about his affinity for the new and contemporary and his impressions of Balanchine's choreography; more on his own dancing including how he feels when performing in front of an audience [ends abruptly].
Streaming file 5 (approximately 29 minutes). Frédéric Gafner speaks with Leigh Witchel about the concept of composing music for an object rather than people; working with Merce Cunningham including instances when Cunningham permits or encourages the dancers to contribute to the choreographic process; learning and performing Cunningham's work; virtuosity [ends abruptly but continues on streaming file 6].
Streaming file 6 (approximately 14 minutes). Frédéric Gafner speaks with Leigh Witchel about his own choreography.
Type of ResourceSound recording
IdentifiersRLIN/OCLC: 912912228NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b20650822Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): aec6c1b0-b8c8-0133-e7dc-60f81dd2b63c
Rights StatementThe copyright and related rights status of this item has been reviewed by The New York Public Library, but we were unable to make a conclusive determination as to the copyright status of the item. 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.
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