Click to search the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library Skip Navigation


Time Machine: Pioneering Efforts in Time Shifting

Portable video, the development of machines smaller than a kitchen range and affordable on an institutional if not a personal scale, ignited a revolution in consumer and institutional video. Before the ubiquitous half inch EIAJ open reel VTR, ca.1970, early adopters employed non standard VTRs such as the Sony CV skip field recorder, circa 1965. André Eglevsky had a CV outfit that included a monitor receiver. André Eglevsky was a pioneer in time shifting, in addition to documenting rehearsals and performances of the Eglevsky Company he made early (atavistic) off air recordings of broadcast television. The screen shots below are from the Dance Division video tape *MGZIC 9-3323 [Ballet in television and film: selections] which was recorded and compiled by André Eglevsky.

The Sleeping Beauty: Act II Pas de Deux (Awakening scene) (approx. 8 min.). Chor: Frederick Ashton. Mus: Peter Tchaikovsky. Telecast on the Dean Martin Show, February 5, 1970. Perf. by Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev.




From the same telecast Rudolf Nureyev tells Dean Martin that he spends all day at the barre.







On the same reel an excerpt from George Balanchine’s Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, performed by Suzanne Farrell and Arthur Mitchell telecast on the Tonight Show, hosted by Johnny Carson, February 11, 1969. When Anne Belle made her film Suzanne Farrell, Elusive Muse, *MGZIDVD 5-26, a clip from the Dance Division’s transfer of Eglevsky’s recording was included in the film.

Here in the Barbara Goldsmith Preservation labs my favorite open reel decks are pictured below. On the left is a Sony CV recorder marketed under the General Electric brand. On the right a Sony AV 8650 color recorder. Excluding our pencil sharpener, they are the most primitive electronic apparatus we employ, but with some tenderness and coaxing they have taken us the farthest in time. More on the EIAJ AV ½ inch open reel recorder sometime in the future.


Patron-generated content represents the views and interpretations of the patron, not necessarily those of The New York Public Library. For more information see NYPL's Website Terms and Conditions.

Post new comment