TRIO A and LIVES OF PERFORMERS with Yvonne Rainer in person
Sunday February 21, 2010, 7:30 pm
Los Angeles Filmforum presents
TRIO A and LIVES OF PERFORMERS with Yvonne Rainer in person in discussion with Francesca Penzani
Part 6 (of 8) of Bodies, Objects, Films: An Yvonne Rainer Retrospective
At the Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd. at Las Palmas, Los Angeles
Over the course of our 2009-2010 seasons, Filmforum is proud to present a full retrospective of the media works of Yvonne Rainer. One of the most significant artists in dance and film of the last fifty years, this is the first full retrospective of her films in Los Angeles. Each appearance by Rainer will feature a Q&A led by a different moderator, to discuss with her varying aspects of her approaches to her art and life. Tonightâs Q&A will be led by Francesca Penzani, choreographer, dancer and professor at Cal Arts.
Admission $10 general, $6 students/seniors, free for Filmforum members
TRIO A (1978, 10:30, video)
"I worked on Trio A alone for six months in 1965. The dance consisted initially of a 5-minute sequence of movement that would eventually be presented as The Mind is a Muscle, Part I at Judson Church on January 10, 1966. There it was performed by me, David Gordon, and Steve Paxton simultaneously but not in unison. In an interim version of The Mind is a Muscle (Judson Church, May 22, 1966), it was performed by William Davis, David Gordon, and Steve Paxton. In the final section, called Lecture, Peter Saul executed a balletic solo version, i.e. with pirouettes and jumps. In the final version (Anderson Theater, April 11, 1968), Trio A was performed by me in tap shoes in its original version at the end of the evening, while Paxton, Gordon, and Davis performed it as a trio at the beginning.
âThe individual sequences last from 4 1/2 to 5 minutes, depending on each performer's physical inclination. Two primary characteristics of the dance are its unmodulated continuity and its imperative involving the gaze. The eyes are always averted from direct confrontation with the audience via independent movement of the head or closure of the eyes or simple casting down of the gaze.
âSince its completion Trio A has undergone many incarnations. In 1967 I performed it solo as a Convalescent Dance (Angry Arts Week, Hunter Playhouse); in 1968 Frances Brooks, the first of many untrained dancers who have learned it, performed it during a lecture-demonstration at the NYC Library of Performing Arts; in 1969 it was performed by a half-dozen dancers to the Chambers Brothers' In the Midnight Hour on the stage of the Billy Rose Theater in NYC. At the Connecticut College American Dance Festival of 1969, fifty students who had been taught Trio A by members of the group with whom I was in residence there, performed it for over an hour in a large studio for an audience that was free to roam to other events in the same buildingâ
âOn April 22 and 23, 1999, twelve dancers performed Trio A -- six on each of two nights -- nude with U.S. flags tied around their necks at Judson Church for a benefit to raise money to pay for a sprung wood floor in the Meeting Room. The dance had been taught by Clarinda MacLow and Y.R.
âOn October 4, 1999, Trio A was performed at Judson Church by Pat Catterson, Y.R., Douglas Dunn, Steve Paxton, and Colin Beatty as Trio A Pressured. Pat Catterson danced it backwards; Rainer, Dunn, and Paxton as a trio; Y.R. and Beatty as a duet in which his movements were predicated on keeping her face in view; Catterson and Y.R. as a duet accompanied by The Chambers Brothers' In the Midnight Hour.
âOn August 3, 2000, Trio A Pressured #3 was performed at the McCarter Theater, Princeton University, by Rachel Aedo, Emily Coates, Michael Lomeka, Rosalynde LeBlanc, and Emmanuelle Phuon of the White Oak Dance Project as part of the program PAST/forward. There followed a national tour of this program, culminating at the Brooklyn Academy of Music June 5 to 9, 2001. In the fall of 2002 Trio A Pressured #3 was included in a White Oak tour of European cities.
âIn Charles Atlas's video montage, Rainer Variations, (2002) I attempted to teach Trio A to Richard Move's "Martha Graham" without much success."
LIVES OF PERFORMERS (1972, 90 min, 16mm, b&w)
A stark and revealing examination of romantic alliances, LIVES OF PERFORMERS examines the dilemma of a man who canât choose between two women and makes them both suffer. Originally part of a dance performance choreographed by Rainer.
âThe title evidences what is to come. While the performances of the preceding years had often been rehersals for themselves, enacted on stage before an audience, the film offers, in place of such a rehersal of a performance, rather a performance of a rehersal. Rainer plays off that deception on the soundtrack, as the charactersâ voices challenge the illusory spontaneity of her dialogue with âYvonne, were you reading those questionsâ Her response introduces he problem of directorial authority (which cinema can so smoothly mask). The title also questions the autonomy of art from daily life, by mixing modes in its very phrasing (of the âlivesâ as âmelodramaâ) and by keeping the performersâ names and seeming identities as the data for the characters as well. If the performer could not be separated from the performance, nor the performance (with its âordinaryâ movement) from daily life, then how to sort the dancer from the dance? Thus rehersal time was now screen time, the private now public, and emotion â sp long off-limits for ascetic modernists â now itself a form of melodrama, expressed via a vocabulary of clich and banality in place of drama. The unity of the film derives from its constant themes of artifice and deception, as variously manifested in dance or film, product or process, story or image, male or female, art or life. The âmelodramaâ of daily life and artistic process is still very much with Rainer, and with us.â -- B. Ruby Rich, from âYvonne Rainer: An Introductionâ in The Films of Yvonne Rainer (Indiana University Press, 1989, p. 4)
On Yvonne Rainer:
When Yvonne Rainer made her first feature-length film in 1972, she had already influenced the world of dance and choreography for nearly a decade. From the beginning of her film career she inspired audiences to think about what they saw, interweaving the real and fictional, the personal and political, the concrete and abstract in imaginative, unpredictable ways. Her bold feminist sensibility and often controversial subject matter, leavened with a quirky humor, has made her, as the Village Voice dubbed her in 1986, âThe most influential American avant-garde filmmaker of the past dozen years, with an impact as evident in London or Berlin as in New York.â
Rainer was born in San Francisco in 1934. She trained as a modern dancer in New York from 1957 and began to choreograph her own work in 1960. She was one of the founders of the Judson Dance Theater in 1962, the beginning of a movement that proved to be a vital force in modern dance in the following decades. Between 1962 and 1975 she presented her choreography throughout the United States and Europe, notably on Broadway in 1969, in Scandinavia, London, Germany, and Italy between 1964 and 1972, and at the Festival DâAutomne in Paris in 1972. In 1968 she began to integrate short films into her live performances, and by 1975 she had made a complete transition to filmmaking.
In 1972 she completed a first feature-length film, LIVES OF PERFORMERS. In all she has completed seven features: FILM ABOUT A WOMAN WHO... (1974), KRISTINA TALKING PICTURES (1976), JOURNEYS FROM BERLIN/1971 (1980, co-produced by the British Film Institute and winner of the Special Achievement Award from the Los Angeles Film Criticsâ Association), THE MAN WHO ENVIED WOMEN (1985), PRIVILEGE (1990, winner of the Filmmakersâ Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival, Park City. Utah, 1991, and the Geyer Werke Prize at the International Documentary Film Festival in Munich, 1991), and MURDER and murder (1996).
Rainerâs films have been shown extensively in the U.S. and throughout the world, in alternative film exhibition showcases and revival houses (such as the Bleecker St Cinema, Roxy-S.F.; NuArt-L.A; Film Forum-NYC, et al), in museums and in universities. Her films have also been screened at festivals in Los Angeles (Filmex), London, Montreux, Toronto, Edinburgh, Mannheim, Berlin, Locarno, Rotterdam, Creteil, Deauville, Toulon, Montreal, Hamburg, Salsa Majori, Figueira da Foz, Munich, Vienna, Athens (Ohio), Sundance, Hong Kong, Yamagata, and Sydney.
A half-hour video tape entitled YVONNE RAINER: STORY OF A FILMMAKER WHO... was aired on Film and Video Review, WNET-TV in 1980. THE MAN WHO ENVIED WOMEN was aired on Independent Focus, WNET-TV in, 1989, and PRIVILEGE on the same program in 1992 and during the summer of 1994.
In the Spring of 1997âto coincide with the release of MURDER and murderâcomplete retrospectives of the films of Yvonne Rainer were mounted at the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco and at the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York City.
In 2006 MIT Press published Yvonne Rainerâs memoir, Feelings Are Facts: A Life.
She most recently presented new dance works at REDCAT in June 2009.
Francesca N. Penzani started her studies in theatre at Teatro Viaggio and Comuna Baires in Italy. She moved to London in 1983 where she studied mime with Ronald Wilson and graduated from London Contemporary Dance School in 1991. She performed with independent contemporary choreographers in U.K. Italy and Switzerland (Nikky Smedley, Victoria Marks, Aletta Collins, Andy Papas, Michelle Levi, Pietro DâAmico, Marie Luise Kind, Anna Pons, Stewart Arnold, Paul Henry, Wolfang Stange among others). She danced in the musical Alice and toured Europe with the opera Carmen and 4D dance Company. She taught modern dance and choreography at The Young Place; The Evening School and Independent Dance at The Place in London. In 1991 she was one of the 5 British Choreographers selected for a Residency for Choreographers and Composers lead by Wim Vandekeybus and Thierry de Mey at the Royal Academy of Music in Glasgow; (Founded by the Arts Council of Scotland). In 1992 she was one of the selected choreographers for â Residency for Choreographers and Composersâ at Royal Festival Hall at South Bank Centre in London lead by Glynn Perrin (Founded by the Arts Council of England); âPoetry Dance Intermixâ at South Bank Centre. In 1996 she was assistant to director/choreographer Lloyd Newson of DV8 in London. Francesca started her video work for The Place Theatre in 1990 as camera operator, editor and director for live performances. She made documentaries for choreographers: Peter Badajo, Emilyn Claid, Yolande Snaith, Shobana Jayasingh, Royston Maldoon, Matthew Hawkins, Mark Baldwin, Laurie Booth and Rosemary Butcher. In 1992, she was awarded a trainingship for "Dance for the Camera" by BBC2 and the Arts Council of England, and worked with directors Ross MacGibbon and Terry Braun. (Producers Bob Lockyer, Wilson) In 1999 she received an MFA from the Schools of Dance and Integrated Media at Calarts. From 2000 til 2005 she was lecturer in "Dance Perceptions" and "Creative Dance for Children" at California State University Dominguez Hills (Division of Performing Arts and Digital Media, Dance Department) Her video works have been screened at: Festival International de Video Danza, Buenos; Dance on Camera Festivals ,New York (DFA); Frame(Portugal); Subtropics Art, Music and Video Festival ( Miami); Dance on Camera Irvine, Il Coreografo Elettronico,Italy; Festival for Art on Film, Akron (Ohio); American Dance Festival; Hollywood Shorts, Los Angeles; RedCat, Los Angeles; Barnsdall Art Center, Los Angeles; Cinedans, Amsterdam; DFF Barcelona; Dance on Screen, London; Dance for Kamera, Norway; as well as for Festivals in Paraguay; Siggraph, Taipei; Brooklyn Access Television; wigged.net, Akademie der Bilden Kuenste, Munich; Jumping Frames at Hong Kong Dance Festival; DanzLenz, New Delhi, India. National Center for Contemporary Arts, Moscow, Russia. In March 2007 her video installation "colours" was featured at CalArts Feminist Art Exhibition "Exquisite Acts & Everyday Rebellions". This was part of the Exhibition Around Town of WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA , Los Angeles. Last January 2007, she choreographed for Interactive Artist Scott Snibbe, "Women in Science" a project for Mills College. Since 1999, Francesca teaches at CalArts âVideo for Danceâ, âVideo Dance Production Seminarâ for the Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance and she is faculty for the Center of Integrated Media at CalArts. She also teaches for CAP, CalArts Community Arts Partnership, âModern Dance and Creativityâ for children at Plaza de la Raza. http://calarts.edu/faculty_bios/dance/faculty/francescanpenzani/francescapenzani
Yvonne Rainer with Robert Gardner on Screening Room, excerpt:
Interview with Yvonne Rainer:
LA Times profile on Rainer last June:
Two extended articles on Yvonne Rainer on Senses of Cinema:
âYvonne Rainerâ by Erin Brannigan
âFrom Objecthood to Subject Matter:
Yvonne Rainer's Transition from Dance to Filmâ by Jonathan Walley
Another biography of Rainer:
Two more screenings in the Yvonne Rainer Retrospective upcoming in 2010:
March 28 - Privilege (with Rainer in person with TBD)
May 16 - MURDER and murder (with Rainer in person with Catherine Lord)
This screening series is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles. Additional support generously provided by the American Cinematheque.
Spielberg Theater at the Egyptian
6712 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
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|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|