New Television Workshop Collection

New Television Workshop Collection Program MaterialsNew Television

Video clip of Changing Steps

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Changing Steps

Extent:
1 videocassette of 1 (35 min.) : sd., col. and b&w ; 3/4 in.
See the record for "New Television, Episode 603 (1990)" for additional descriptions of videos containing this work.

Copyright Date:
1989

Copyright Holder:
Cunningham Dance Foundation, Inc.

Artists:
Cunningham, Merce
Caplan, Elliot

Background:
"Changing Steps" was broadcast as Episode 603 of the 1990 New Television season. It was a New York Times Critics' Choice winner of the Gold Certificate from the Dance for Camera Festival.

Scope:
Includes a 3/4" screening copy of the work. See the record for "New Television, Episode 603 (1990)" for additional descriptions of videos containing this work.

"Changing Steps" documents various incarnations of a dance piece of the same name by choreographer Merce Cunningham. The piece was originally created and performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1973 and consists of solos, duets, trios, and quartets that can be performed in any order. In 1974, Cunningham made a black-and-white video of the piece in his studio. The completed video work shows Cunningham's company of the 1980's staging the piece in the interior and exterior of a dance studio and in a more formal stage setting. The exterior of the studio blends into the natural environment, where a babbling stream passes by. Segments of the 1974 studio footage and footage showing the company staging the work for performance are interspersed. The work concludes with the ensemble performing a lengthy partnering sequence of simultaneous duets. Narration at the beginning of the work, describing the circumstances of its creation, is by Robert Redford.

The music is John Cage's work of 1960 "Cartridge Music." The recording that is used for the soundtrack was recorded in 1988 by Takehisha Kosugi, Michael Pugliese, and David Tudor. In addition to Cage's score, the sounds of the dancers' movements and of the environment are amplified.

The dancers wear bright-colored unitards or black-and-white leotards and tights.



Directors:
Caplan, Elliot
Cunningham, Merce
Becofsky, Art (Executive Director)
Williams, Matthew (Director of Photography)

Producers:
Caplan, Elliot
Nelson, Tim (Line Producer)

Coproducers:
Cunningham Dance Foundation, Inc.
La Sept

Editors:
Caplan, Elliot
Ollerton, Lee (CMX Editor)

Funders:
New York State Council on the Arts
National Endowment for the Arts
Friends of Merce Cunningham

Performers:
Barrow, Helen
Bartosik, Kimberly
Diamond, Emma
Finlayson, Victoria
Good, Alan
Komar, Chris
Kuilick, David
Lent, Patricia
McGoldrick, Larissa
O'Connor, Dennis
Santimyer, Kristy
Swinston, Robert
Teitelbaum, Carol
Wood, Robert
Hyman-Chaffey, Susanna
Harper, Meg
Kovich, Robert
Mehl, Brynar
Moulton, Charle
Setterfield, Valda
Roess-Smith, Julie
Redford, Robert (Narrator)

Subjects:
Modern dance


Genre:
Dance

See Also:
New Television, Episode 603 (1990)





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