New Television Workshop Collection

New Television Workshop Collection Program MaterialsAlive From Off Center



Myth of Modern Dance, The

Copyright Date:
1990

Materials Date:
1988-1990

Artists:
Atlas, Charles
Dunn, Douglas

Extent:
1 videocassette of 1 (26:08 min.) : sd., col. ; 1 in.
1 videocassette of 1 (Betacam SP) (26:08 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
1 videocassette of 1 (VHS) (26:08 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
29 videoreels of 29 : sd., col. ; 1 in.
5 videocassettes of 29 : sd., col. ; 3/4 in.
18 folders

Background:
This collaboration between video artist Charles Atlas and choreographer Douglas Dunn is based on a solo performance of Dunn's, called "Haole."

Scope:
Includes a 1" master, a Betacam SP preservation master, and a VHS screening copy of the finished work. Twenty-nine reels of 1" tape contain original footage. Several 3/4" screening tapes of some of these reels exist. Ten file folders contain notes, correspondence, production schedules, a description of the piece, contracts, credits listings, film festival and dance programs, applications, and licensing agreements. The bulk of the material is production and postproduction forms, notes, and schedules. NEA applications are also included, as is correspondence regarding the showing of the piece at film festivals (the festival programs are also included). Eight folders contain black-and-white and color negatives, contact sheets, photographic prints, and slides from the production set. Several slides document Dunn's work "Haole."

Occasionally reciting text from "The Myth of Human Evolution," by Niles Eldridge and Ian Tattersall, Dunn humorously calls into question the notion of a linear and sequential development of dance forms. The opening scene finds him emerging from a pile of primordial ooze, eventually approximating the hunched posture of the predecessor of man. Dunn is pictured executing interpretations of various dance forms, from contemporary dance to French court dances to Hawaiian hula dancing. These interpretations appear tongue-in-cheek, as all reflect Dunn's idiosyncratic movement style. Dunn's movements are executed against brightly colored electronic backgrounds.

A diverse musical score includes pieces by Brian Eno, Bob Dylan, Puccini, Mozart, Minei Charles King, Thoinot Arbeau, and Captain Tobias Hume.

The flamboyant costumes were designed by Charles Atlas.



Director:
Atlas, Charles

Producers:
Dowling, Susan
O'Hara, Robin (Line Producer)

Coproducer:
Alive From Off Center, KTCA

Editors:
Atlas, Charles
Feist, Rick
Klotz, Joe

Funders:
National Endowment for the Arts
La Sept

Performer:
Dunn, Douglas

Subjects:
Modern dance
Evolution


Genre:
Dance





Home | Exhibit Space | Finding Aid | Search the Site WGBH


The New Television Workshop Collection Web site
is a production of the WGBH Archives. © 1999 WGBH Educational Foundation.

Please contact the WGBH Archives with comments and questions. Artists involved with the New Television Workshop are encouraged to communicate with us.