Choreography / 1968


A film for television, working title Ghirardelli Square, Assemblage was made on location in Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco. Cunningham’s notes for the film include ideas for movements (“Yoga on roof-top,” “Dancer doing complicated fall/unable to get up/pedestrian lifts him”) and indicate his desire to explore the possibilities of the film medium (“MC: segmented fall – 5 different angles,” “Possibility of same shot in dance clothes and in street clothes”). Company musicians John Cage, David Tudor, and Gordon Mumma, created the sound score to accompany the final 59-minute film. Specifically, they were assembling a sound track on tape of concrete sounds recorded by Mumma, mostly around San Francisco . . . They used six sound categories, sounds near sea level, at high altitude (transformed through Tudor’s Rainforest equipment that literally passes the sound through other substances, sheets of metal, wood, etc., changing its quality accordingly), animal life (“untransformed because they are poetic by themselves”), any sound materials modulated electronically to pulse and sound percussive, speech, Cage's thunder recording. (Filming: October 14 - November 3, 1068).


Premiere Date

Nov 03, 1968

Premiere Venue


Premiere Location

San Francisco, CA


John Cage David Tudor, Gordon Mumma, Assemblage


59 minutes

Original Cast

Carolyn Brown

Merce Cunningham

Meg Harper

Susana Hayman-Chaffey

Sandra Neels

Chase Robinson

Valda Setterfield

Jeff Slayton

Mel Wong

Other Choreography

Open Session
Duration: Length unknown
Year: 1964
Duration: 23 minutes
Year: 1964
Collab.: Young, Rauschenberg
Duration: Length unknown
Year: 1964
Collab.: Cage, Rauschenberg
Museum Event No. 1 (Events)
Duration: Variable 60 - 90 minutes
Year: 1964
Collab.: Cage
Cross Currents
Duration: 7 minutes
Year: 1964
Collab.: Nancarrow, Rauschenberg
Variations V
Duration: 45 minutes
Year: 1965
Collab.: Cage, Paik, VanDerBeek
How to Pass, Kick, Fall and Run
Duration: 23 minutes
Year: 1965
Collab.: Cage
Variations V (VideoDance)
Duration: 49 minutes
Year: 1966
Collab.: Cage, Arnbom, VanDerBeek, Ewert