Choreography / 1965

Variations V

A large mixed-media piece involving the use of film and also, when possible, of video images distorted by Nam June Paik. John Cage also decided to find ways for the dancers’ movement to trigger the sound. The first was a series of antennae placed around the stage; when a dancer came within the radius of one of these, a sound would result, from among the battery of electronic instruments operated by the company musicians. The second was a series of photo-electric cells placed at the base of the antennae, for a similar purpose. (In performance, these electronic devices often failed to work.) In addition to the dance sequences that moved around these antennae, Cunningham devised a number of non-dance activities with objects fitted with contact microphones that contributed to the sounds. The dancers wore practice clothes, to which street clothes could be added (no designer was credited).

Details

Premiere Date

Jul 23, 1965

Premiere Venue

Philharmonic Hall, Lincoln Center

Premiere Location

New York, NY

Music

John Cage, Variations V

Set

Nam June Paik

Stan VanDerBeek

Costumes

Uncredited

Duration

45 minutes

Original Cast

Carolyn Brown

Merce Cunningham

Viola Farber

Barbara Lloyd

Sandra Neels

Albert Reid

Peter Saul

Gus Solomons jr

Explore the Dance Capsule

Explore More

Other Choreography

Title
Duration
Year
Collaborator(s)
Crises
Duration: 22 minutes
Year: 1960
Collab.: Nancarrow, Rauschenberg
Waka
Duration: 5 - 10 minutes
Year: 1960
Collab.: Ichiyanagi, Rauschenberg
Hands Birds
Duration: 16 minutes, 50 seconds
Year: 1960
Collab.: Brown, Rauschenberg
Music Walk with Dancers
Duration: 10 minutes
Year: 1960
Collab.: Cage
Aeon
Duration: 45 minutes
Year: 1961
Collab.: Cage, Rauschenberg
Field Dances
Duration: 12 minutes
Year: 1963
Collab.: Cage, Rauschenberg
Story
Duration: 15 - 40 minutes
Year: 1963
Collab.: Ichiyanagi, Rauschenberg
Open Session
Duration: Length unknown
Year: 1964
Collab.: