Panel discussion with Susan Sontag, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Merce Cunningham: on the occasion of the "Rewarding Lives" Dance Event at the American Express Tower, World Financial Center, 2002-10Additional title: Event (Choreographic work : Cunningham)
NamesMerce Cunningham Dance Company (Associated name)Baryshnikov, Mikhail, 1948- (Panelist)Cunningham, Merce (Panelist)James, Janine (American interior designer, contemporary) (Speaker)Hedleston, Jim (Host)Sontag, Susan, 1933-2004 (Panelist)American Express Bank (Associated name)
Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation Collection. Audio materials
Dates / OriginDate Created: 2002-12-18
Library locationsRodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded SoundShelf locator: *LTD-A 902
TopicsBaryshnikov Center for DanceMerce Cunningham Dance CompanyEvent (Choreographic work : Cunningham)ChoreographyDance -- PhilosophySeptember 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001 -- Anniversaries, etc
NotesContent: Title, location and date provided by cataloger based on handwritten note on original DAT cassette, audition, and information provided by the Merce Cunningham Trust.Content: Handwritten note on original DAT cassette: "Amex Talks".Numbering: Donor's inventory number: D406.Venue: Recorded at The Moderns' custom pavilion and lobby at the American Express tower, 3 World Financial Center, New York, New York, 2002 December 18.Acquisition: Gift; Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation, 2011-2012.Citation/reference: Forms part of the Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation Collection.Conservation history: Transferred from original DAT cassette by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Due to the poor sound quality of the preservation file, re-transfer was attempted by the New York Public Library's Audio and Moving Image Preservation (PAMI) sound engineering staff at the Library for the Performing Arts, but there was no remaining signal on the DAT original. The NYPL sound engineer created a slightly edited master file with higher playback volume for streaming: myh_ltda902_v01f01_em.
Source Gift; Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation, 2011-2012.
Physical DescriptionAudiocassetteExtent: 1 audio DAT cassette (63 minutes) : digital, .3209 ips, 44.1 kHz, 16 bit, two track, stereoSound quality is mostly good; there is slight microphone echo, some background noise, and, at times, the speakers are distant from the microphone.
DescriptionBegins abruptly, Jim Hedleston introduces Janine James from The Moderns [branding and consulting company] and their project to create a custom designed lobby at the American Express building to mark the company's return to downtown Manhattan after the September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001; Janine James thanks the contributors to the project, especially Annie Leibovitz for her Rewarding lives, the photography exhibit within the space; James speaks about the public responses to the opening of the exhibit and space, especially in terms of the emotional resonance; James reads a list of words that descibe her personal response to the space; James introduces the panel theme, a dialogue about "how space informs dance and movement"; James introduces panelists Susan Sontag, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Merce Cunningham; [inaudible]; Susan Sontag speaks about how she relates to "inner space"; Sontag compares this "inner space" to the "outer space" that she sees in dance; Merce Cunningham responds to Sontag by describing the way dance carves out shapes, challenges he worked through while creating an Event in the lobby space including how the audience views the dance, and solutions that his [Merce Cunningham Dance] Company applied while rehearsing there; Mikhail Baryshnikov speaks about how there is no direct translation for the word "space" from English to Russian and he describes the further meanings of the Russian "prostranstvo"; Baryshnikov tells an anecdote about a childhood ballet rehearsal and the teacher's request that he translate the movement into a "larger space," a metaphor for artistry; Baryshnikov speaks about fundraising for his [Center] and his interest in an "inviting space" for creativity; Cunningham speaks about his resistance to the concept of a central focal point onstage, and his choreographic process being impacted by [Albert] Einstein's concept that there are no fixed points in space; Sontag speaks about personal associations in spaces, the notion of home and domestic spaces, and the cultural trend for "de-cluttering" space; Cunningham speaks about the variety of spaces being used for performances; Baryshnikov mentions his interest in the atypical spaces in his [future] building; Sontag speaks about "reclaiming" ruined performance spaces; Sontag asks about how space is divided, especially in response to the notion of an arts center or an exhibiting space; Cunningham's interest in both formal and atypical performance settings; audience member asks a question to Cunningham about how he uses the computer program, [Life Forms], to choreograph; Cunningham describes how he uses Life Forms to explore possibilities that are then explored through his dancers' bodies; audience member asks about the location of space as an influence on creativity using the example of Baryshnikov's creative potential in Russia as compared to the United States; Baryshnikov speaks about preparing for his Center by observing performance centers around Europe as compared to those in New York and the United States, especially his interest in providing a space to emerging artists where they can relate with older artists; audience member asks if the location of Cunningham's Event [being performed that evening], across the street from the World Trade Center site, influenced his choreography; Cunningham describes the impacts of rehearsing there and incorporating local school children in the performance; Cunningham briefly speaks about the resilience of dance in the face of larger socio-economic difficulties; audience member asks the panelists about their favorite spaces in New York City; [panelists each give short responses]; Sontag expounds on her response by speaking about her interest in views from the city's bridges and the presence of light across the city; Sontag speaks about the plans and opportunities for the revitalisation of downtown New York City; Hendleston thanks the panelists, concludes the panel discussion, and makes general announcements.
Type of ResourceSound recording
IdentifiersRLIN/OCLC: 911141139NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b20643000Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): e51fdc20-b8c5-0133-a069-60f81dd2b63c
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