Media / 1961

Suite de Danses (Suite de Jazz)

“Suite de danses” was Cunningham’s first dance made specifically for television. It was commissioned by Société Radio-Canada and performed to a jazz score by the Canadian composer Serge Garant. The music was performed live by a jazz ensemble and full orchestra, the musicians sharing the space with the four dancers. “I remember trying to figure out things for the camera,” Cunningham recalled, “but I knew so little, and we had so little time, that I had no way of knowing whether it worked or not.” The costumes were leotards and tights dyed by Jasper Johns, his first design for the company. The program was taped in Montreal on June 12, 1961 and broadcast three weeks later on July 9, 1961. Two different titles are given for this dance: "Suite de danses” (in the Cunningham Dance Foundation archives), and “Suite de Jazz” (in the credits for the Radio-Canada broadcast).

Details

Video Type

VideoDance

Dances
Length

12 minutes

Director

Jean Mercure

Design

Jasper Johns

Producer

Canadian Broadcasting Company

COLOR/BW

B/W

Music

Serge Garant

Dancers

Carolyn Brown, Judith Dunn, Marilyn Wood, Merce Cunningham