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sitting in a dentist office to meeting an arc on edward below is dense with new york city ballet is talk about all things he was doing on that it was possible from him out of the dancers announced it seem like what was he talking about air it's been the peak illinois
we're joined merce cunningham danced with him for three years and now he's back to his own work at a car gravity at an airport security life is a few that quiets the mind and nine because they are over there
everywhere that's right now what i want to try to do tonight and we're going to do a lot of different kinds of things really do suggest some warming up stuff versus likely be a real difficult technique last minute you know a lot of our own and of the kinds of movements and one day some of the steps we do in the performance ok so just focus on that ok so forth as if the sisters tell clients to just turning off went back an infection that had some employment and by teaching in the latest steps that we watched our son kind of that surplus advancing ok good because i think if they
let it go it has been the real treat that it is that allows them the tightest jeans about eleven plan starring gene you hadn't and allie this is in six or middle sixties sixty or sixty that i came home in teaching him how to do all the damages that the dirty douban our mirror what there are proud but the twist of course dr eve is beginning to know that but antimatter death and that's what i always tell people out of merce cunningham and i'm the one who got him started in debt when i started formally dancing was in chicago and actually evanston illinois and when i moved there was about fifteen parents and there was a modern dance class in their curriculum which was so different than anything i'd known here another from there i went to a company it's
called the chicago dance troupe which was shot one day he had been there for years the company decided they were with whether you do something else and to go in a more collective directions meaning that they run something it's been more experience the kinds of works so we have formed a group called domain which are still are that existence in chicago are some of your basic utopian idea of everything's possible and again except the hard realities of fundraising sort of made it very tense those first couple years ago and i was quite young and i didn't last that long so i stood and had a good performance in soto's nine taylor it's actually a tale square and there was always a part of what i was doing dancing in choreographed
system for me so it's on our studio and that lasted about a year and then i thought i just needed to go to new york where there's a lot more opportunity to eat people's to work with people to see is a lot of people's dance world have exposure to people who had been working for many years successful so in seventy six i moved to new york and i was going to do what they had in mind just to study with merce cunningham in various other teachers there that i was interested in and continue korea and china it's just a small company going or try to start a small company in new york but what happened was that it join the merce cunningham sixth and stayed with him for about three years now hasn't really travel all over europe and
canada the us has quietly major experience for me and didn't your letters coming started again with my career in a small group of characters this was in nineteen eighty six the last six years it's been he's trying to pull together dancers were trying to create a working tour liam obviously enjoys it immensely and must be very talented in that area since he seemed to be making lots of progress i have mixed feelings about
what it means for him is in his life i know that a dancer moves around a lot is the very difficult to have any kind of family life he travels extensively is life is very un really matters to so to speak so that was a concern about whether or not he'd ever have a month quote normal life but that doesn't seem to be a problem with him now that as far as he's concerned i don't have any problems this
week he'd like to sell and these are nine dancers the only working with a lot let me explain a little bit what exactly we're doing and what you're going to see this as a dance company and that means that we travel all over the world all the united states and perform very much like what we want to do today and tomorrow night everyone who lives in new york city that's it the owners from oklahoma and then
so it has been come back to alabama is to bring back what i know to be into a situation where there are maybe a couple kids in the same position that i was just we didn't know it was simply because i wasn't around who to give them a flavor of what could be so i felt like i had a kind of obligation to do that to try and it's spread my knowledge a little bit and please republicans needed to force it or be a missionary that's not in their interest or just more people who have always supported me my friends my family and other ways to understand why been going to last ten years in faraway places in europe in
france in italy and new york ms davidson yes and it's hard work and a week is hard for me to get one last week's action in jail is like going to class everyday i think it's neat about dating needed is a digital boeing those like they know what they don't know well partly
residents in part of being here we're going into the students aren't free to some sense to the students early age of one what it's like to be a dancer to explain what we do what the difference between art and dance and save modern belly dance or jazz or tampered all the different disciplines advance there are and the thing i'm most people can relate to is what they see on tv which is generally kind of jazzy saying more street dancer or disco dance or classical that's now actually by now everybody's seen pretty much everything but the difference of what we're doing is yes all the students come and that's
something that they do every day like walking on the street or gesturing different question and something very simple naser for turn this fraternity row a loser offer tremendous university's a big return and it's her art exhibit social say it's where everyone comes to get married to make their future husbands and wives and learned of all
most dancers in fact don't support themselves so advance and that's just a fact of life and in fact a lot of people in the company that now have to wait tables or c h is for work the computer work anything sector work anything that they can do to get some extra money for the things that they're time rehearsing than say yeah says until israel can stay inside as you have to rehearse all day long in the la times and wincing with two or three people at one time and taking class that's real time and then to go work at night on top of it but there's just our money and dancing in the sky and sing and disrupted the summer to supplement and new york is so expensive to live in and then when i was
sixteen ah and i was just in the right place at the right time and i got asked audition for fame and i auditioned and i got a part of that answer and they work with louis falco who choreographed the film and it was a lot of fun and it really opened me up to a whole nother way advancing a whole nother time performing it was hard because doing family through things over and over again but was on fire and he was also authenticates a lot of money but i think the kind of dedication that voters have this book its i'm going to just love to do it and the more they get the more they love it so it doesn't there they're willing to have a less affluent lifestyle
coming to new york it's just as difficult to death danson latest dance and like this and after a while you begin to feel you need to develop other parts of your life and so i had a teaching job about five six years ago it was part time that it took up a lot of my time and energy and want to be a little bit away from dance for awhile but once i got used to it it really ultimately i think helped me my dancing always been able to find a way to the convention center and who knows as the president's mansion which survived from the civil wars the university was burned
during the civil war and the president's wife with a premium plan one of the students this was his sentence they're asking about because that something in a long time didn't really going to have very much to often in fact we do two words that have more elaborate sets and there are less strictly dance but more for the theatrical collaborations where the set prof stone the casting becomes information for instance and knowing that i worked on with the design of the
cars insert for barbie's very stylized elegance of the outfit the ceo of the hat in the eyes and yellow and black fur pants down some very stylish cocktail beehive about that and that there's no way he cannot the scene isn't the end up on ballet or telephone law and that's so fast and the music dance every gesture known for you know an audio alchemist as
it was created inside the sidelines of every shop was set up very carefully can take eight hours to say one shot with live in an effort to get the shuttle the next day to get the next shot which was important was shot out of sequence so we don't know the end of the movie first in the first movie and then beginning in the middle so it's all mixed up cut together and that whole process took from beginning to end about two years because of my schedule a glittering having to go on tour and financially it was just impossible to go straight through because of making a film like that was incredibly expensive movies
we're going to hear this is three words that just premiered in new york and they're called mozart because there's mozart's symphony this plan three symphonies short seventies one is twenty minutes long one is eight minutes which is a solo violin and when it's half an hour long since it's a lot of mozart but its excellence and it's a ticket when they wear what i was trying to do in that work and it's the first time i've really on they way it worked with classical music there would have been in the past has been much more contemporary composer using contemporary composers and more contemporary vocabulary as opposed to a classical category i mean there
certainly are classical influences and on the clean energy about mozart as it is so timely it's always it's always present it's always something that people are doing this it's very high energy is so clear mathematically structurally that that somebody could relate to all those i feel and i need to create work for works that are gone about now the twentieth century that or if that's working with an eighteenth century voice is like a climber in with the past mo the way we like the way we do
it's is a pretty it's a pretty unusual is that style it does involve a lot of different kinds of trading but after awhile it starts to feel very comfortable and make a lot of sense the civilian agencies made me and that the words themselves are three pieces that subtitle garbage glance which is it's about the kind of going through a urban situation people going fast moving slow to answer like you see them in the way that he would like traveling in a car sixty something happening here in season here and just didn't get enough information to say that there's a charge situation that you don't really get enough information to know exactly what's happened as like people passing on the street a story say someone
standing thank you the other piece is called between lives so and so the cartooning can work where i play like a frightened child and the angry father in a scolding mother and serve pretentious teacher and the lost child and all it's a schizophrenia get to dance with his character keeps changing moment but the overall feeling i think is to show the complexity and so at any moment you go into one of those people characters in that sort of insecurity
immigration but it just seems to get out very strong and very clearly the last pieces more much more classical called pastoral and it sound really just about youth and there too is this fun to have a character which the older character dressed and why the two companies play a lawyer character is much more so gracious and always it's given permission to the way they want to suck a lot of attention there so the subtext basically it's a
project neo classical buildings i think it goes through covers by difficult changes your whole outlook on life changes and you have to start tripe thinking that's well below to keep the subjects like boeing are going to try to settle down and to something else or do i wanna keep dancing and recently i went through something like that where if i continued working well as working too well as support in my body i would have lasted very much longer have to completely rethink what i was doing and change that so that i could continue and that was took her several months of really hard concentration and serious personal research with my home but i have to keep going but i think we have to do that a couple
years ago and to just decide if i want to keep doing that no piano nina keck
thank you
Jim Self Comes Home
Producing Organization
University of Alabama Center for Public Television and Radio
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WQED (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
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Program Description
Jim Self, originally from Alabama, comes home to visit from New York to perform at the University of Alabama theater production. He brings with him several of his fellow dancers and colleagues and shows them around Tuscaloosa and the University.
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Editor: Holt, Tony
Editor: Sandige, Jon
Producer: Connell, Bill
Producing Organization: University of Alabama Center for Public Television and Radio
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Identifier: cpb-aacip-73297aa702d (Filename)
Format: Betacam: SP
Duration: 00:05:30:25
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Chicago: “Jim Self Comes Home,” 1986-07-24, WQED, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 3, 2023,
MLA: “Jim Self Comes Home.” 1986-07-24. WQED, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 3, 2023. <>.
APA: Jim Self Comes Home. Boston, MA: WQED, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from