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5.0 out of 5 stars Radical Cage grabbed at the root, 12 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: John Cage: Variations V - Merce Cunningham Dance Company [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
This disk is a fascinating document of a fascinating moment in recent cultural history: the rise (and intertwining) of John Cage beginning his career as Composer of random Music, and Merce Cunningham beginning to develop a kind of dance that doesn't portray emotion, but elicits it. Not only is the dance performance clearly filmed, but the filming itself becomes an Active element through Stan VanDerBeek's judicious use of double-exposure: Another semi-independent layer in the total experience through an ensemble (dance/Music/film) that perfectly illustrates what Cage would later call "interpenetration without obstruction".
Along with the recent "Cage Shock!" CDs which bring us recordings of late 50s/early 60s Concerts in limited mono sound, this filmed version of "Variations 5" is mono that clumps together into a thick roar what must have been a more diffrerentiated, complex sound, but if that's all we can get, I'll take it! The DVD also offers an audio-only stereo soundtrack of a Paris performance (is there some way of listening to that while watching the ballet?)
Extra material -- long interviews with the dancers remeniscing from decades later -- are interesting documents of the American dance World, but what this disk is centrally about is a dance performance that shows up how anemic our avant-guard has become today.
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John Cage: Variations V - Merce Cunningham Dance Company [DVD] [2013]
John Cage: Variations V - Merce Cunningham Dance Company [DVD] [2013] by Merce Cunningham Dance Company (DVD - 2013)
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