A Day with Meredith Monk

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A Day with Meredith Monk

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Apr 2, 2018
Apr 2, 2018
Segal Theatre
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Meredith Monk directing Book of Days. Photo by Dominique Lasseur

Monday, April 2
Segal Theatre
5:30pm Discussion + 1:00pm Screenings

FREE + Open to public. First come, first served.

Join us for a day with iconic composer, singer, director/choreographer and filmmaker, Meredith Monk. Following afternoon screenings, the evening discussion features Meredith Monk, Performing Arts Journal editor Bonnie Marranca, and Frank Hentschker. Screenings will include 16 Millimeter Earrings (1966), Book of Days (1988), Ellis Island (1981), Turtle Dreams (1983), Paris (1982), and several of Monk’s short silent films (1966-1994).

Considered one of the most unique and influential artists of our time, Meredith Monk has been a pioneer of interdisciplinary work for over 50 years. Her award-winning films, Ellis Island and Book of Days, have screened world-wide and on PBS, and her music has been used by filmmakers Jean-Luc Godard, Terrence Malick, David Byrne and the Coen brothers, among others. Monk has made more than a dozen recordings on the ECM label, including the 2008 Grammy-nominated Impermanence. In conjunction with her 50th season of performing and creating work, she was named the 2014-15 Debs Composer’s Chair at Carnegie Hall. Recent honors include the 2017 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize and a 2015 National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama. Celebrated internationally, Ms. Monk’s work has been presented at major venues throughout the world.

Bonnie Marranca is founding publisher and editor of the Obie-Award winning PAJ Publications/PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, which celebrated its 40th year in 2016. A recent recipient of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education Excellence in Editing Award for Sustained Achievement, she has written or edited seventeen books. She is the author of three volumes of criticism, Performance Histories, Ecologies of Theatre, and Theatrewritings, and editor several play anthologies, interview and essay collections, including Conversations with Meredith Monk,  New Europe: plays from the continent, Interculturalism and Performance, and Plays for the End of the Century. Her essays have been translated into twenty languages. A Guggenheim Fellow and Fulbright Senior Scholar, Bonnie Marranca is Professor of Theatre at The New School for Liberal Arts/Eugene Lang College.

Additional support by PAJ Publications/PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, Bonnie Marranca, editor.

1:00pm       16 Millimeter Earrings (1979, 25 minutes)
1:30pm       Book of Days   (1988, 85 minutes)
3:00pm     Ellis Island (1981, 28 minutes)
3:30pm     Turtle Dreams (Waltz) (1983, 27 minutes )
4:00pm     Paris (1982, 26 minutes)
4:30pm     Monk’s Short Silent Films (1966-1994, 40 minutes)
                    16 Millimeter Earrings (1966, 4 minutes)
                    Children (1967,  8 minutes)
                    Ball Bearing (1968, 6 ½ minutes)
                   Quarry (1975, 5 ½ minutes)
                   Ellis Island (1979, 6 ½ minutes)
                   Faces (1994, 5 minutes)
5:30pm     Discussion with Meredith Monk, Bonnie Marranca, and Frank Hentschker


About the films:

16 Millimeter Earrings (1979)
Conceived and Performed by Meredith Monk
Produced, Directed and Photographed by Robert Withers
A reconstruction of the original 1966 piece

16 Millimeter Earrings is considered one of Meredith Monk’s breakthrough works. Of the original production performed at the Judson Church in 1966, John Perrault of the Village Voice wrote, “movement, film, words, and sounds are so skillfully interwoven and inter-related that no description can substitute for actually seeing the kind of magic she has managed to produce.” This film interpretation by Robert Withers documents a 1979 reconstruction and is his cinematic view of the piece.

Book of Days (1988)
Conceived and Directed by Meredith Monk
Cinematography by Jerry Pantzer
Art Direction and Costume Design by Yoshio Yabara
Music by Meredith Monk
Produced by Catherine Tatge and Dominique Lasseur

Book of Days is a film about time, drawing parallels between the Middle Ages, a time of war, plague and fear of the Apocalypse, with our modern times of racial and religious conflict, the AIDS epidemic, and the fear of nuclear annihilation. The film aired on PBS, was shown at the New York Film Festival and was selected for the Whitney Biennial.

Ellis Island  (1981)
Conceived and Directed by Meredith Monk
Produced and Co-Directed by Bob Rosen
Cinematography by Jerry Pantzer
Music by Meredith Monk
Co-produced by Greenwich Film Associates and ZDF Germany

“An intensely memorable film evocation of America’s immigrants; set in the crumbling halls of contemporary Ellis Island…spare, sober, and exquisite, it recalls the formality and beauty of vintage photos.” (Village Voice) Ellis Island aired on PBS and was awarded the CINE Golden Eagle, special Jury Prize from the Atlanta and San Francisco Film and Video Festivals.

Turtle Dreams (Waltz) (1983)
Conceived by Meredith Monk
Performed by Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble
Directed by Ping Chong
Music by Meredith Monk
Co-Produced by WGBH-Boston

Turtle Dreams (Waltz) is a music piece with movement for 4 voices and 2 organs. This section of the work was originally performed live in 1981 as part of Monk’s Music Concert with Film.

Paris (1982)
Conceived and performed by Meredith Monk and Ping Chong
Music by Meredith Monk
Produced and Directed by Mark Lowry and Kathryn Escher
Made in cooperation with the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis and KTCA-TV

Paris  was first performed in 1972. In 1976 it became the first part of The Travelogue Series, a music-theater piece on journeys imaginary and real, to places with a unique and formative role in history and our consciousness. Paris is an evocation of place; the ambiance, inhabitants, and mood of a location.

Short Silent Films (1966-1994)
16 Millimeter Earrings (1966)
Directed by Meredith Monk
Camera by Kenneth Van Sickle

This short, silent version of 16 Millimeter Earrings was one of three films projected on different surfaces at specific times during performances of Monk’s breakthrough interdisciplinary work of the same name.

Children (1967)
Directed by Meredith Monk
Camera by Phill Niblock

Children was originally created for Monk’s Excerpt from a work in progress at the Village Theater. It was shot in New York City’s subways and in Monk’s old studio on St. Mark’s Place.

Ball Bearing  (1968)
Directed by Meredith Monk
Camera by Meredith Monk and George Landow

Ball Bearing was designed as an installation piece, to play continuously forward and backward for an unrestricted time period.

Quarry (1975)
Directed by Meredith Monk
Camera and Editing by David Gearey

Quarry was designed to be projected between the “Dictator’s Speech” and “Rally” sections of Monk’s opera of the same name.

Ellis Island (1979)
Directed by Meredith Monk
Associate Director Bob Rosen
Camera by Jerry Pantzer

This short, silent version of Ellis Island was designed to be projected during a section of Monk’s live work, Recent Ruins. It features members of Meredith Monk/The House, and was filmed on location on Ellis Island prior to its major renovation.

Faces (1994)
Directed by Meredith Monk
Camera by Nick Blair
Edited at Morty’s, New York City with Bruce Ashkinos

Part I of Faces was used in Monk’s Shrine Installation, situated in the lobby of theaters where her solo piece Volcano Songs was performed. Part II was projected as part of the performance. Both are part of an ongoing project called 24 Hours of Faces.

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