Antheil's Dada

Antheil's Dada
Dada at the Movies
© Guy Livingston
Dada at the Movies. That's the name of pianist and George Antheil enthusiast Guy Livingston's new one-man show which premieres in Amsterdam at the Holland Festival on 9 June. Dada at the Movies features the first performance of a newly reconstructed score of Antheil's music which accompanied famed cinematographer Man Ray's 1923 film Return to Reason. Antheil performed the work at the film's original screening.

"Dada at the Movies," notes Livingston, "began when [musicologist] Paul Lehrman approached me for help reconstructing the score. The film is an abstract, Dadaist, fast-paced court-metrage by Man Ray. The musical task was to re-constitute George Antheil's original music (also fast-paced and hectic) from sketches and notebooks."

Dada at the Movies includes two additional films that highlight Antheil's music: Charles Sheeler's Manhatta and Rhythmus 21 by Eggeling and Richter.

Other Antheil news includes the release of Bad Boy Made Good, a new 2-volume DVD produced by Other Minds. This award-winning documentary by Ron Frank tells the story of Antheil's life and his most notorious piece Ballet mécanique. The film has screened at American and European festivals and is currently being shown in a shorter version on PBS. The DVD set includes the uncut Bad Boy Made Good documentary; a complete video of the first modern staged performance; the Fernand Leger/Dudley Murphy film Ballet mécanique presented for the first time with Paul Lehrman's realization of Antheil's original score; and interviews with Antheil's family and friends. To purchase a DVD, visit mécanique was also a highlight of the National Gallery of Art's recent Dada expo in Washington, DC. The show ran from March through May, and showcased a daily excerpt that featured MIDI player pianos accompanied by robots created by Eric Singer of LEMUR (the League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots).

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