Merce Cunningham Trust

Westbeth 1974

LENGTH 32 minutes
DIRECTOR Charles Atlas
DESIGNERS Mark Lancaster
Jasper Johns
PRODUCER Cunningham Dance Foundation
DISTRIBUTOR Alexander Street Press
MUSIC No sound
DANCERS Ellen Cornfield, Meg Harper, Catherine Kerr, Chris Komar, Robert Kovich, Brynar Mehl, Charles Moulton, Julie Roess-Smith, Valda Setterfield, George Titus
First video collaboration with Charles Atlas. A collage of six sections, it is based on the recognition that television changes our way of looking and distorts our sense of time. Dancers introduce themselves in the first section by staring directly into the camera. In section II, the camera obscures the dancers' relationship to space through the use of close-ups. In the third section, the viewers attention is continually recentered upon a new dancer who has entered the group. Secion IV investigates the possibilities of deep focus and its relationship to movement. Section V employs an elaborate use of multiple cameras and in the final section, separate movement segments were joined together in the editing process. Cunningham's intention was to alot a question, or several, about video and dance to each section. Filmed at the Merce Cunningham Studio, Westbeth. Costumes were done by Mark Lancaster and based on the Jasper Johns designs for "Un jeux ou deux" (1973).