Modern Dance Festival at the Modern

“Viola Farber and the Cunningham Legacy” Screening of “Brazos River” and discussion with guest Jeff Slayton
  • July 20, 2019 - 12:30pm

 Presented by Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth  

A rare glimpse into the Modern’s archive, “Brazos River” (60 minutes) features the Viola Farber Dance Company in a special project which originated in Fort Worth.  Shot in December 1976, this collaborative video features choreography by Viola Farber, music by David Tudor, and costumes/set by Robert Rauschenberg. The project was conceived by the Fort Worth Art Museum's Performing Arts Director, Anne Livet, in conjunction with their Texas Bicentennial program, and was co-produced by KERA-TV Channel 13, Dallas-Fort Worth.  According to the Rauschenberg Foundation, this project marked Rauschenberg's first use of video, and he spent time working with studio technicians to understand what colors could be best transmitted on television.  Funding for the initial project included support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Texas Commission on the Arts & Humanities, the Fort Worth Art Museum, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.  Directed by Dan Parr.  Dancers featured: Jumay Chu, Larry Clark, Viola Farber, Willi Feuer, June Finch, Anne Koren, Susan Matheke, Andé Peck, and Jeff Slayton.  Guest speaker Jeff Slayton will introduce the video and lead a Q&A with the audience.  Farber and Slayton were members of the Cunningham company for many years, and this project is a perfect example of how Cunningham's work impacted the work of dancers who came out of his company.  Special thanks to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth for contributing this work from their archives.

Slayton will also introduce a screening of Farber’s “January” (26 minutes) – Directed by Kevin Crooks in 1984, the Viola Farber Dance Company collaborated with TSW LTD to record her group work “January" at Dartington Hall in Devon, UK.