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Fernand Léger - Ballet Méchanique - 1924

Fernand Léger - Ballet Méchanique - 1924

Love this film, and the George Antheil score View on youtube

Music by George Antheil. Film by Fernand Leger and Dudley Murphey.

From youtube posting quoted here

"Performed on May 8th 1989 at The Japan American Theatre, as part of The Los Angeles Philharmonics Green Umbrella Series, by the CalArts Percussion Ensemble and The 20th Century Players. Directed by Lucky Mosko. Film Restoration by William Moritz.
Percussionists: Meira Asher, Matt Bornong, Jeffrey Brenner, Adam Levenson, Ed Mann, David Shaffer, Julie Spencer, Todd Szabo. Keyboards: Blaise Bryski, Mellissa Hui, Gaylord Mowry, Bryan Pezzone
Green Umbrella Revives Dada Film

In a period when dance historians are industriously re-creating significant "lost " works, CalArts forces have made an oblique contribution with the restoration of "Ballet Mecanique," the landmark Dada film by Dudley Murqhy, Fernand Leger and Man Ray, with music by George Antheil.

The results of the cinematic effort led by William Moritz, were shown for the first time Monday as part of a Green Umbrella concert at the Japan America Theatre by the ever-intrepid New CalArts 20th-Century Players.

An abstract, surreal mini-epic of kaleidoscopic images, "Ballet Mecanique" has a tangled history, marked by uncertainties about individual contributions and blurred by Leger's re-edited versions. The music intended for the film also actually intersected with it only in intermittent fashion. Ironically, the Green Umbrella presentation matched the attempt to restore the original visual intentions with Antheil's final revision of the score, made 28 years after the film was first shown in 1924.

The union of sight and sound seemed more organic at some points than at others, but Antheil caught the manic rhythm of the film quite successfully. The combination proved surprisingly fresh and vital Monday, with Stephen Mosko conducting a tight, hard hitting performance of the brash score beneath the witty endlessly inventive images, in a remarkable triumph of imagination over the limitations of primitive technology.

John Henken, The Los Angeles Times, May 10, 1989"


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