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Posts from New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center

The Original Circle in the Square Photographers: An Interview with Justin and Barbara Kerr

Photographs from the Circle in the Square Papers provide a one-of-a-kind record of nearly all of the hundreds of productions mounted on the Circle’s round stage during its five-decade history. Founded in 1951, the Circle in the Square became one of the key theaters in the Off-Broadway movement.Read More ›

Kinokophonography Night at the Library for the Performing Arts: Hearing is Believing

There is something very unique about a listening program. It is not always typical to sit and listen without explanation or visual stimulation. On the evening of February 6th, about 50 people gathered in Bruno Walter Auditorium for New York's first Kinokophonography Night here at LPA, where we asked the audience to do just that: sit and listen.Read More ›

Time Machine: Interstitial Moment, VHS vs. Communism

The return of Daylight Saving Time means that we have all just experienced a temporal displacement. Let’s set Time Machine back by a small increment and briefly revisit the VHS format.Read More ›

Vandamm's Pygmalion

By the time that you read this post, the exhibition Pioneering Poet of Light: Florence Vandamm & the Vandamm Studio will have been de-installed. The photograph and key sheets will be returned to the Performing Arts Library divisions. But the blogging will continue since there are thousands of photographs representing thousands of shows, dances and people.Read More ›

"She Loves You" b/w "I'll Get You" by The Beatles, Swan S-4152

Recorded July 1, 1963 in London, UK.Read More ›

Oscar Nomination for Foreign Film of The Missing Picture, Directed by Rithy Panh

The Dance Division wishes to express our great joy for the Oscar nomination in the category of Foreign Film for The Missing Picture, directed by Rithy Panh. "This haunting, at times shocking movie—part memoir, part indictment—fills the void suggested by its title. With extraordinary grace, Rithy Panhs tells his story and that of his ravaged country," wrote Mahnola Dargis in The New York Times, September 26, 2013.Read More ›

Jerry Bock's FIORELLO! Demos

Original Cast of Fiorello! / Photo by Joseph AbelesWhen Jerry Bock died in 2010, his papers (drafts, correspondence, business records, etc.) came to the library as he had planned. A year or so later, his friend and lawyer, Richard Ticktin, compiled many of Bock's personal audio recordings onto a hard drive and passed a copy to the library. While we are still in the process of processing and preserving this material, I'm very excited today to share with you a preview of the treasures in this collection. Using the library's player below, you can listen to three tapes Bock made while 

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A Philadelphia Collaboration: The Pinto Brothers' Designs for Catherine Littlefield’s Philadelphia Ballet Company

A Philadelphia Collaboration: The Pinto Brothers’ Designs for Catherine Littlefield’s Philadelphia Ballet Company, a newly installed exhibit in Jerome Robbins Dance Division, features a variety of drawings, costume sketches and set designs by Salvatore (1905-66) and Angelo (1908-94) Pinto commissioned by Catherine Littlefield (1905-51) for the Philadelphia Ballet Company’s productions of Barn Dance and Terminal. Read More ›

Time Machine: Cloverleaf and Helix, The Early Years

My studio is an interchange where I coax content from the past, sometimes, the content itself is looking back to a more distant past, creating a cloverleaf-like feedback loop. The Early Years, *MGZIC 9-950, is one of the current projects that has come to mind in the cloverleaf.Read More ›

Power: The American Way

George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, co-authors of some of Broadway’s most enduringly funny comedies, also collaborated on a topical pageant, The American Way, which opened at Broadway’s Center Theater, January 1939.Read More ›

Lincoln Kirstein's Greatest Treasure Hunt and Find

The Monuments Men was one of the top films again last week, bringing to light the incredible true story of the museum professionals (art historians, curators, professors, conservators) who joined the Allied army's Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program (MFAA), risking their lives to rescue art from thievery and bombing during World War II.Read More ›

The Most Significant Drum Head in Popular Music, Part 2

Upon taking physical possession of the piece, my mind was set on two objectives. The first was to prove to myself that the drum head really was what it appeared to be. And number two, proving to the collecting world in general that this was, in fact, the Sullivan show drum head. Read More ›

Announcing LIBRETTO!

I am very pleased to announce the first release of Libretto, a prototype open source, ebook reader for reading musicals on Android devices!Read More ›

Vandamm and Machinal

Machinal is back on Broadway. Sophie Treadwell’s best known play is enjoying a successful revival at the Roundabout Theater. Although a journalist, Treadwell used elements of experimental playwriting to show the central character stuck on the machinery that limited the lives of 1920s women. Her choices doom her. Go to see it if you can.Read More ›

Kinokophonography: Discovery of Listening

Below is a guest post by Coryn Smethurst, a composer, film maker, philosopher, sound recordist, and longtime friend of the Kinokophone Collective. Mr. Smethurst is also the Co-founder and Administrator of the Sonic Arts Forum. In this post he shares an experience that changed the way he listens to the world. Read More ›

The Holy Grail of the Percussion World, Part 1

William F. Ludwig himself put it best when he said, “On February 9th, 1964, a new musical event burst from the TV screens across America. The Beatles had arrived, featuring Ringo Starr and his Ludwig Black Oyster drums. Literally overnight everyone wanted a drum set like Ringo’s. The drum boom was born!”Read More ›

Kinokophonography: A Closer Relationship With Listening...

Are you curious about The Library for the Performing Arts upcoming Kinokophonography Night, February 6, 6:30 p.m.? Below is a guest post by renowned sound artist Jez Riley French. Mr. French has submitted a work of recorded sound that is featured on our Kinokophonography Night program. He writes about his motivation, his work, and his process.Read More ›

Focus on Stage Lighting: Faust

This week’s post serves as a caption for the alternative image that the Library’s opening web page has been using when it highlights the Vandamm exhibition, Pioneering Poet of Light. Again, the web editors selected well, since the photograph of Faust illustrates the title so well.Read More ›

Memorial for Jean Léon Destiné at 92nd Street Y

A memorial is being held for Jean Léon Destiné, master Haitian dancer, choreographer and drummer, who passed on January 22, 2013. This will be at the 92nd Street Y on January 24, 2014, during their program Fridays at Noon: The Legacy of Jean-Léon Destiné. Read More ›

Violets and Vandamm

Part of the job of performance documentation was creation of images for the promotional articles, that ran in magazines such as Theatre. The featured play article featured 6 – 8 photographs of stage action laid out like a fashion magazine images cropped into rectangles and ovals connected by 1 sentence plot summaries. The article gives you a taste of the story line while promoting performers. The Vandamm Studio was especially good at preserving moments that convey emotional impact – viewers know that something important just happened.

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