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Roll Call: Bay Area Arts and Culture
REMY CHARLIP 1929 – 2012
Ella Jenkins: The Hi-de-ho Man
Nino Rota: 8 1/2 Theme
1992 prerecorded excerpt of an interview with Remy Charlip, author, choreographer, dancer, and close personal friend of Cage and Lou Harrison on KPFA-FM, Charles Amirkhanian’s Morning Concert Series, for the John Cage Memorial Program Upon His 80th Birthday (September 4). Cage had passed away a few weeks earlier on September 5, 1992. This audio is part of the Other Minds Audio Archive from the Internet Archives.
Meredith Monk: Gotham Lullaby
Lou Harrison: Concerto for Pipa with String Orchestra I Double Concerto
1984 MOCA Los Angeles Radio Program, The Territory of Art: 10 Imaginary Dances by Remy Charlip. Curated by Julie Lazar, founding Curator then Director of Experimental Programs for The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1981-2000)
Gabriella Ferri: Sempre
Klaus Nomi: Samson And Delilah (Aria)
Joe Goode Performance Group: Excerpt of a talk given by Joe Goode “The Felt Experience” at SF Camerawork on his performance installation “The Reconditioning Room” (1990)—commissioned by Capp Street Project (joegoode.org)
A reading from Remy’s book FORTUNATELY (1964)
Robin Rimbaud (Scanner): Fravaer from The Garden Is Full Of Metal, Homage to Derek Jarman
Nino Rota: Amarcord Theme
American born in 1929, and San Francisco-based since 1989 writer, choreographer, designer, and teacher REMY CHARLIP grew up in Brooklyn, NY, devoting his youth to investigating the performing, literary, and graphic arts. He studied design at New York’s Cooper Union School, but became part of American dance history when he attended North Carolina’s Black Mountain College. In that experimentalism, Remy became one of the founding members of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, and remained with the company for 11 years, as both dancer, and set and costume designer, succeeded by Robert Rauschenberg. Remy, also a member of The Living Theatre directed plays for the Judson Poet’s Theater and the National Theater for the Deaf. In 1958, he co-founded the Paper Bag Players, a children’s theater company that is the longest- running troupe of its kind and also served as the head of the Children’s Theater and Literature Department at Sarah Lawrence College. A vast number of Remy’s fans were children who encountered him through his books for young people. There are 38 of them, suffused with fanciful prose, clever line drawings and enchanting sense of color. They range from “David’s Little Indian” (1956) to “A Perfect Day” (2007) which suggests that the perfect day does not have to be anything other than ordinary—one book, Fortunately, has been in print for 48 years. Remy won many book awards, including three New York Times Best Illustrated Books of the Year citations and several have been translated into French, Italian, and Japanese. In the dance world, Remy is remembered for his new form of choreography “Air Mail Dances” a method that grew from his work with the National Theater for the Deaf. They began in 1971 when a dancer requested a work and Remy, then living in Paris, sent her a series of postcards of figures drawn in various positions. Performers who received the drawings were free to dance them in any order and to supply their own transitions. In this way, he felt, dancers were part of the creative, as well as the recreative process. Remy proved a ubiquitous, mentor figure on the Bay Area modern dance scene. He regularly attended experimental dance concerts and was supportive of young choreographers. He was an artistic adviser to the performance art group, Contraband, in its infancy, and has collaborated with modernist Margaret Jenkins, Axis Dance Company, Oakland Ballet, and Joanna Haigood, among many others. Remy was honored with two Village Voice Obie awards, and a six-month residence in Kyoto, Japan as part of the Japan-US Commission on the Arts. He received a Sustained Achievement Award for his 20 years as choreographer, teacher and mentor in the Bay Area dance community in 2007 and the SFBG Lifetime Achievement Goldie with a focus on dance in 2001. Recently Remy was the model for Brian Selznick’s drawings of pioneer filmmaker George Méliès in Selznick’s novel, “The Invention of Hugo Cabret,” the basis for the Scorsese’s film, “Hugo.”
For more information on REMY CHARLIP
AGENCY: The Work of Artists, 2009. Montalvo Arts Center’s arts initiative exploring themes of interdependence through artworks that address a wide array of topics including: family, immigration, the environment, cultural memory, the continuing cold war, the influence of faith, and the shifting narratives of globalism. Curated by Julie Lazar.
Queer Cultural Center Commission: www.queerculturalcenter.org/Remy/SleepyTime.html
SFMOMA Open Space: blog.sfmoma.org/2010/12/collection-rotation24
Check your local library for Remy Charlip’s books, and more...
at 8:34 PM