John Cage & Merce Cunningham – Variations V (1965)

John Cage made «Variations V» in 1965 for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. He and David Tudor settled on two systems for the sound to be affected by movement. For the first, Billy Klüver and his colleagues set up a system of directional photocells aimed at the stage lights, so that the dancers triggered sounds as they cut the light beams with their movements. A second system used a series of antennas. When a dancer came within four feet of an antenna a sound would result. Ten photocells were wired to activate tape-recorders and short-wave radios. Cecil Coker designed a control circuit, which was built by assistant Witt Wittnebert. Film footage by Stan VanDerBeek and Nam June Paik’s manipulated television images were projected on screens behind the dancers. The score was created by flipping coins to determine each element and consisted of thirty-five «remarks» outlining the structure, components, and methodology. The specific sound score would change at each performance as it was created by radio antennas responding to the dancers’ movements. In this photograph «Variations V» is performed for a television taping session in Hamburg. The photocells were located at the base of the five-foot antennas placed around the stage. Cage, Tudor, and Gordon Mumma operate equipment to modify and determine the final sounds. The project was also presented at the Philharmonic Hall in New York, 1965. [Source]
http://www.ubu.com/film/cage_variations5.html






variations

Woody Allen injects humor into the ballet

woodyallen2

The ballet isn’t generally known as a place for great humor, but Woody Allen was a cutup at the Youth America Grand Prix Gala, spies said. The “Annie Hall” director and wife Soon-Yi Previn were spotted there as guests at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center last week, along with David and Julia Koch, Wilbur and Hilary Ross, Debra Black and Karen LeFrak, who composed the score for a premiere of Marcelo Gomes’ dance piece “Tous Les Jours.” When the well-heeled group filed in for dinner after the performance, Allen was seen desperately scanning the place cards at his table. “I like it when Soon-Yi’s at the same table,” he explained to a guest, relieved to find she was seated nearby. When a party photographer asked to snap a pic, Allen quipped that he’s always happy to pose because, “It keeps me from eating.” And when a guest exclaimed Allen hadn’t changed since they’d met 35 years before, the director put his hand on his heart, tapped his chest and concluded, “No maturity.” [Source]

Yuriko Kikuchi Receives Commendation from Japanese Government

Yuriko-receives-award

The residence of Ambassador Shigeyuki Hiroki, Consul General of Japan in New York, was filled with dancers on Wednesday, January 30. They gathered to celebrate the life and career of Yuriko Kikuchi, a Japanese American dancer, choreographer, and instructor who was an influential member of the Martha Graham Dance Company for fifty years as well as the first Japanese American star on Broadway.

Known throughout the dance world simply as Yuriko, she is the recipient of the Foreign Minister’s Commendation from the Japanese government, recognized for her outstanding achievements in the field of dance and for her contribution to friendly relations between Japan and the United States. Through dance she promotes cultural exchanges and inspires collaborations between different American dance companies, cultural institutions, and government agencies.

The ceremony began with remarks from Ambassador Hiroki, who described Yuriko as “a pioneer of the modern dance movement,” someone who merged East with West and changed the concept of dance during her time with Martha Graham.

[Source]

[via Lars Boe Jarvad]