Research Catalog

Interview with Chris Komar

Interview with Chris Komar [sound recording]
Komar, Chris.

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StatusVol/DateFormatAccessCall NumberItem Location
reel 5AudioUse in library *MGZTC 3-1823 [sound cassette] reel 5Performing Arts Research Collections - Dance
reel 4AudioUse in library *MGZTC 3-1823 [sound cassette] reel 4Performing Arts Research Collections - Dance
reel 3AudioUse in library *MGZTC 3-1823 [sound cassette] reel 3Performing Arts Research Collections - Dance
reel 2AudioUse in library *MGZTC 3-1823 [sound cassette] reel 2Performing Arts Research Collections - Dance
reel 1AudioUse in library *MGZTC 3-1823 [sound cassette] reel 1Performing Arts Research Collections - Dance
AudioSupervised use *MGZMT 3-1823Performing Arts Research Collections - Dance


Additional Authors
Kraft, Susan, 1961-
5 sound cassettes (350 min.) +
  • Cassette 1. Recorded November 15, 1993. Mr. Komar discusses his role first as Assistant to the Choreographer and later as Assistant Artistic Director of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company; experiences in setting Cunningham's work on other dance companies including Ballet Rambert; the difficulties that ballet companies have with Cunningham's technique and choreography; the Boston Ballet's commission of Breakers; the Cunningham Foundation's Repertory Understudy Group; the qualities necessary for dancing Cunningham's work; issues relating to rhythm and accompaniment; teaching Signals to the White Oak Dance Project; the relationship of dance and music; Komar's creation of Inlets 3; Cunningham's Inlets 2; Cunningham's notation system; Komar's notation of Cunningham's technique classes; his process of teaching repertory; the use of music in rehearsal and in the creative process of Cunningham and composer John Cage.
  • Cassette 2. Recorded November 17, 1993. Mr. Komar discusses his early life; studying music; his family; his period at the University of Wisconsin and as a founding member of the Milwaukee Ballet Company; moving to New York; taking class at the Cunningham studio; joining the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. He describes classes; Cunningham's approach to rhythm; the first piece he performed with the company entitled Landrover; the music of David Tudor; reads Merce Cunningham's definition of Events; describes the preparation and creation of Events; the relationship of Cunningham's choreography to quantum theory and the writings of Buckminster Fuller; Stephen Hawking and Jacob Bronowski; Torse.
  • Cassette 3, side A only. Continuation of discussion on Cassette 2. Brief discussion of the principles of chance; the compact disc entitled The John Cage tribute.
  • Cassette 4. Recorded November 24, 1993. Mr. Komar discusses the revival of Cunningham's Sounddance; the 1970s; the importance of taking ballet class; balance; chance; the unpredictable nature of Cunningham's work; the relationship of Cunningham's work to ideas and life outside the dance world; political issues; Ocean (a work in progress at the time of the interview); the contribution of John Cage to the company; the changing structure of the company; choreographic structure; partnering; Inlets 3, which Komar created on the Repertory Understudy Group using a chance-based restructuring of Cunningham's Inlets and Inlets 2; Cunningham's investigations of time, space and weight changes.
  • Cassette 5. Recorded July 18, 1994. Mr. Komar discusses the unique properties of film and video as opposed to live performance; Westbeth; differences and difficulties in designing primarily for the camera or the stage and then switching; Points in space; Channels/Inserts; Fractions; Cunningham's fascination with the filming process; Torse; Beach birds, for camera; the effect of television and video on culture and dancing; Komar's cable television program, Rhythms in space; coaching Cunningham dancers for videotape.
Alternative Title
  • Dance Oral History Project.
  • Dance Audio Archive.
  • Interviewed by Susan Kraft at the Dance Collection of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.
  • For transcript see: *MGZMT 3-1823.
Access (note)
  • Transcripts may not be photographed or reproduced without permission.
Call Number
*MGZTC 3-1823 [sound cassette]
Komar, Chris. Interviewee
Interview with Chris Komar [sound recording]
Restricted Access
Transcripts may not be photographed or reproduced without permission.
Connect to:
Request Access to Special Collections (Dance Division) material
Local Subject
Aleatory music in dance.
Added Author
Kraft, Susan, 1961- Interviewer
Research Call Number
*MGZTC 3-1823 [sound cassette]
*MGZMT 3-1823 [transcript]
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