New Television Workshop Collection

New Television Workshop Collection Program MaterialsUnbroadcast/Unfinished Works



Watermill

Materials Date:
1990-1993

Artists:
Brown, Trisha
Wilson, Robert

Extent:
1 videoreel of 1 : sd., col. ; 1 in.
1 videocassette of 1 (6 min) : sd., col. ; 3/4 in.
1 videocassette of 1 (20 min) : sd., col. ; 3/4 in.
1 videocassette of 1 : sd., col. 3/4 in.
1 videocassette of 1 (VHS) (8 min) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
1 videocassette of 1 (Betacam SP) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
1 videocassette of 1 (Betacam SP) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
1 videocassette of 1 (Betacam SP) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
10 videocassettes of 12 (VHS) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
2 videocassettes of 12 : sd., col. ; 8 mm
1 videocassette of 1 (6 min) : sd., col. ; 3/4 in.
1.25 linear foot (1 box)

Background:
Intended to be a ground-breaking dance/drama for television broadcast, involving director/visual artist Robert Wilson and choreographer Trisha Brown. The script was to have been written by Klaus Kertess. A workshop-style planning session took place at the Watermill complex in Long Island, New York, a former communications lab, which had recently been acquired by Wilson. Hi-8 video documenting these events was created. However, despite some NEA funds, not enough money could be raised to reach the $650,000 budget necessary for its completion. Plans to re-tailor the project to make it more commercially acceptable also failed to raise the necessary funds. The ending of the New Television Workshop in 1993 also helped lead to the project's demise. Raw video footage was never edited. Today, the site is being developed by the Byrd Hoffman Foundation into the Watermill Center, an international center for the development of new artworks.

Scope:
Includes a 1" tape of edited footage and various 3/4" and Betacam SP drafts of edited footage, probably intended to garner support for the project. Also included are a VHS video on the Watermill Center and a 3/4" video of a Trisha Brown movement phrase, which may have been incorporated into the development shoot. VHS screening copies of the first ten reels of original footage from the shoot exist. Two Hi-8 tapes, presumably the originals, comprise reels 11 and 12. File folders contain notes, correspondence, resumes, NEA grant applications, news clippings, contracts, budgets, expense, reports, project explanations/descriptions, production notes and logs, and printed images that were digitized from the video footage. A large portion of the correspondence concerns efforts to raise enough funds to cover the project's costs. Most of this fundraising correspondence involves Susan Dowling and the heads of institutions, including the BBC, La Sept and ARTE in France, and the Trisha Brown Company. Nine folders contain digitized images from HI-8 video footage taken at and around the Watermill buildings, which was to have been used in the project.

Mostly draft footage showing Trisha Brown and her dance company and Robert Wilson during a development workshop for the Watermill project. The dancers follow instructions from Wilson and Brown and experiment with improvisational structures. These take place in and around the building at the Watermill site.



Producer:
Dowling, Susan

Performers:
Brown, Trisha
Wilson, Robert

Subjects:
Performance art
Modern dance
Experimental theater


Genres:
Dance
Unedited footage





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