Body cinema: Merce Cunningham’s solo dance in Good Morning Mr. Orwell

July 1, 2010

Here is an excerpt from Nam June Paik’s TV program called ‘Good Morning Mr. Orwell’ (1984) featuring choreographer and dancer Merce¬†Cunningham. Cunningham dances with satellite-delayed images of himself, overlaid with crawling text about George Orwell’s time in Spain.

Video still from Good Morning Mr. Orwell by Nam June Paik (c)

‘Good Morning, Mr. Orwell’ was the first international satellite ‘installation’ by Nam June Paik, a South Korean-born American artist often credited with inventing video art. It occurred on New Year’s Day, 1984.

The event, which Paik saw as a rebuttal to George Orwell‘s dystopian vision of 1984, linked WNET TV in New York and the Centre Pompidou in Paris live via satellite, as well as hooking up with broadcasters in Germany and South Korea. It aired nationwide in the US on public television, and reached an audience of over 25 million viewers worldwide.

George Plimpton hosted the show, which combined live and taped segments with TV graphics designed by Paik. ( read more on wiki)

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