Ballet mécanique: The Symposium
4/7/2013, 1:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Charlie Chaplin image from Ballet mécanique --
Filmmakers: A LégerMurphy. Courtesy, Anthology
Film Archives and Unseen Cinema
Free and Open to the Public
Location: Blair School of Music - Choral Rehearsal Hall, Ingram Hall Lobby and Ingram Hall (Google map of this location)
Ballet mécanique: The Symposium: 1:30 – 5:00 PM
Location: Blair School of Music - Choral Rehearsal Hall (Google map of this location)
1:30 p.m. Bad Boy Made Good: The Revival of George Antheil's 1924 Ballet mécanique. Documentary film by Ron Frank and Paul Lehrman.
2:30 p.m. Q&A with Paul Lehrman, PhD, director of The Ballet mécanique Project
3 p.m. Coffee Break
3:30 p.m. "The Painter's Revenge: Fernand Leger For and Against Cinema. Gordon Hughes, Mellon Assistant Professor of Art History, Rice University.
4:15 p.m. Machine Musicianship: How computers have learned to play along with human musicians. Arshia Cont, Scientific Leader, MuTant Team Project (INRIA/CNRS) Director, Research Creativity Interfaces Department, IRCAM
Robotics and New Media Art Exhibition 6:45 PM
Location: Ingram Lobby and Plaza
Robots on the plaza! The Middle Tennessee Robotic Arts Society with a variety of small and large robots, plus Vanderbilt University Engineering professor Dr. Julie Johnson and the Davidson Academy Middle School Lego Robotics Club.
In the lobby, artists Greg Pond and Benton-C Bainbridge invite the audience into Fernand Léger's classic Ballet mécanique film with an interactive movie installation. New media technologies are used to explore Ballet mécanique's themes, where the everyday is made magical and humans become mechanized.
Guests in the Ingram lobby control scenes from the movie: a motion tracking lever moves the burden-bearing worker woman up and down a staircase; Chaplin's signature cane dances Léger's puppet back and forth above the lobby doors. Guests are encouraged to bring pocket-sized props to spin on the Kaleidoscopic Turntable.
Sound artist Liz Scofield has created interactive audio compositions informed by the aesthetics and concepts of Ballet mécanique. Come early and experience Ballet mécanique as never before!
VORTEX and THE BAD BOY! Concert 8:00 PM
Location: Ingram Hall
Witness the southeastern U.S. premiere of George Antheil’s restored original 1924 orchestration for Ballet mécanique, complete with xylophones, bass drums, electric bells, siren, airplane propellers, 13 live musicians, eight synchronized player pianos, and the rarely screened abstract film by French artist Fernand Leger and Dudley Murphy. This masterpiece of 1920s Paris will be introduced by David Kibler, Cultural Attache to the Consulate General of France in Atlanta.
VORTEX is joined by Tufts University's Paul Lehrman, whose work to restore Ballet mécanique through robotics and MIDI processing has been praised by critics:
“It was something to behold, a glorious din” - The Boston Globe
“A fully satisfying hoot of a piece” - Boston Musical Intelligencer
“Termites running the asylum!” - Chicago Sun-Times
Never realized in Antheil’s lifetime. Never performed before 1999. Experience Ballet mécanique as “the bad boy of music” could only imagine, and as audiences from New York to London have cheered.
An event so remarkable it can only be achieved by humans in league with robots!
Major support provided by Yamaha Corporation of America and Miller Piano. Blair thanks the Hutton Hotel for providing guest artist accommodations for Paul Lehrman. The performance, symposium, and related events were made possible by the generous support of a Curb Creative Campus Innovation Grant from the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy; the Blair School of Music; the Film Studies Program; the Max Kade Center for European and German Studies; The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons; the Department of French and Italian; and the Department of History of Art Goldberg Lecture Series.
Additional sponsorship provided by the Office for Science and Technology of the French Embassy in the USA
Ballet mecanique film courtesy, Unseen Cinema: Early American Avant-Garde Film 1894-1941, a collaborative preservation project sponsored by Anthology Film Archives, New York, and Deutsches Filmmuseum, Frankfurt am Main, and underwritten by Cineric, Ind., New York. www.unseen-cinema.com. Ballet mecanique is presented by arrangement with G. Schirmer, INC., publisher and copyright owner.