back
straight up
"In the early 60's dancers were interested in relating body movements or functions to sound as they danced. "
Yvonne Rainer and Merce Cunningham performing Variations V

previous next

Click to play video Performance of Variations V


Variations V <1964>

John Cage made Variations V for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. My colleagues and I set up a system of photocells so that the dancers switched the sounds as they cut the light beams with their movements. In this performance at the Philharmonic Hall at Lincoln Center on July 1964, Stan VanDerBeek showed films and Nam June Paik manipulated projected television images. The center for the new dance in the early 60s was the Judson Church with Trisha Brown, Yvonne Rainer, Steve Paxton, Lucinda Childs and others. Yvonne wanted to use the sound of her own breathing as she was dancing. She wore a contact mike on her throat that picked up the sound of her breathing. We made a small FM transmitter that we attached to her belt. The transmitter relayed the signal to the speakers.