Thursday, August 2, 2012

Elaine Summers: Ouverture / By Chance - recreation as a reminder of a legacy

Ouverture (reconstruction) was shown as part of Movement Research's celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the very 1st Judson Dance Theater Performance on July 6, 2012, at the Judson Church. It was created by Elaine Summers (Wikipedia / website) and her idea to do a chance-movie (Banes, Sally, Democracy's Body - therefore also the alternative title "By Chance") and did so in collaboration with John Herbert McDowell and Eugene Friedman.

was originally performed in 1962 with fifteen minutes 16mm film & 1 dancer, realized for Judson Dance Theater's First Concert. Audience is requested to walk through the movie screen before seating.

In the film: Deborah Hay, Freddy Herko, Richard Brodney, Kenward Elmslie, Carol Summers, Elaine Summers, Sally Gross, Ruth Emerson, Carla Blanc, Arthur Levin, Al Carmines, George McGrath, Steve Paxton, Remy Charlip, Lila Pais, Josh Pais, John Worden, Sally Stackhouse, Harold Johnson, Joseph Schlichter, James Waring, Arlene Rothlein, Edward Barton, Rev. Howard Moody, Carolee Schneemann, Clyde, Rosie & Michael Lax, Christine Myers, Sandra Neals, Phoebe Neville, Larry Seigal, Robert Rainieri, Al Hansen, Ira Matteson, Bill Meyers, Johanna Vanderbeek, Carolyn Chrisman, Robert Ranieri, Norma Marder, Lou Rogers, John Patton, John Hoppe, Kyle Summers, Malcolm Goldstein, John Herbert McDowell, the parade for the astronauts on their return from the moon.

Don McDonagh and Robert Dunn chronicled the First Concert:
"McD: There's an interesting description by John McDowell of the opening of the first concert: 'The very first dance that ever happened at Judson was really very extraordinary in a couple of ways. First, the beginning of it, which was Bob Dunn's doing and was beautiful. The dance concert was announced to start at 8:15 and they went upstairs into the sanctuary to find that in order to get to their seats they had to walk across a movie that was going on. This movie consisted of some chance edited footage by Elaine Summers and test footage that I made... And we went on exactly, precisely for 15 minutes. The first dance which was by Ruth Emerson started on the dot of 8:30. As the movie was just about to go off, the six people or so involved came out, the movie sort of dissolved into the dance.
Dunn: Yes this was really incredible, the beginning of the first (Judson)concert. It doesn't sound like much now but it was extraordinary, my hair stands on end to think how that worked. Nobody ever did anything like that."  from Don McDonagh, The Rise & Fall & Rise of Modern Dance

Congratulations to all who made it possible!