Merce Cunningham Trust

Torse 1977


DANCES Torse
LENGTH 55 minutes
DIRECTOR Charles Atlas
PRODUCER The New York Public Library and Museum of the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center
DISTRIBUTOR Alexander Street Press
COLOR/BW B/W
MUSIC Remainder. 18, Maryanne Amacher
DANCERS Karole Armitage, Louise Burns, Ellen Cornfield, Morgan Ensminger, Lisa Fox, Meg Harper, Robert Kovich, Chris Komar, Julie Roess-Smith, Jim Self
Features double screen. Filmed in September 1977 at University of Washington, Seattle WA. First public screening, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Lincoln Center, 3 April 1978. I Ching, The Book of Changes provided the inspiration for "Torse", which utilized the numbers one to sixty four, both in its spatial plan (conceived as a square 8 x 8), and the movement phases (which constituted the language of the piece). The title of this ballet referred to the use of the torso throughout the dance. There were five basic back positions featured in Torse: upright, arch, twist, tilt and curve. The music was by Maryanne Amacher, and Mark Lancaster designed the costumes: the women wore black leotards and yellow tights, and the men wore yellow leotards and black tights.