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On the development of the score for Parades and Changes Ann Halperin comments:
I was concerned about finding a way for the collaborating artists to work and exchange ideas together and mutually develop a Performance (P) and also for dancers to be free to respond most fully with their individual capacities as an input into the score. Morton Subotnik, the composer, originated a method called cell-blocks, i.e.,
the cell-block method meant that each collaborating artist, musician dancer-choreographer, lighting designer, sculptor, coordinator, evolved a series of sound actions, movement actions, light action, environmental or sculptural actions in discrete thematic ideas called cell-blocks. For example, in Morton Subotnik's score of cell-blocks: 1. might represent "live-music" on a horn -- single sustained sound; 2. electronic sound; 3. percussion rhythmic pattern; 4. Bach's Brandenburg Concerto. These cell-blocks went on to a variety of ten different sound events.
The choreography included: 1. dress and undress; 2. stomp dance; 3. embrace; 4. costume parade; 5. move with scaffold; 6. paper dance, etc.
Patric Hickey and Charles Ross developed their own light and sculpture events in the same way. All cell-blocks were mutually developed so that they were, in fact, interchangeable. The basis of selecting events was that all of them could be interchangeable at any time and still be extremely diverse. This offered the opportunity of being able to go to any theatre and immediately adapt to the peculiar needs of that theatre by selecting out of our cell-blocks what we felt would work best in that particular physical space, and with that particular audience.
The independence of these cell-blocks also plugs into internal needs within the company personnel. As new members come in, and others leave, each artist can function according to his unique attributes, that is, in Europe, Folke Rabe, composer, used his own cell-blocks while in New York, Morton used still another set, his own.
When we performed Parades and Changes in Stockholm, we used the score principle to present three evenings of Parades and Changes at the Stadesterean Theatre, and, by simply changing the selection of cell-blocks and the order, both this way (right arrow) and that way (down arrow), we could derive a totally different result.
We also discovered that by changing the order both (right arrow) and (down arrow) we were required to create new ways of dealing with transitions, which in itself challenged all of us into creating fresh material for each program.
Parades and Changes has been performed on a street mall in Fresno, at an opera house in Warsaw, in Stockholm, at Hunter College in New York City, in numerous campus theaters, and never has the score had the same resultant performance. The cell-blocks principle is so organized that not only are all the parts independent and therefore can be reassembled, assembled, and reassembled in infinite combinations, each combination generating a different quality, but the sequence can start from any point.
For example, what might start the performance one night, could another night be the end. In terms of development new cell-blocks can be added, others omitted so that over a period of several years the same score can be in operation but entirely new cell-blocks (materials can be inserted to the extent that the original Parades and Changes has very little resemblance to the new one. I point this out because we ordinarily think of time in regard to the length of time of the performance. Here I'm suggesting that we think of time over a period of years as well.
This related it to ecological scoring.
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Parades and Changes performed in the street, Fresno, California. The street can once again become the theatre as it was in medieval times.
A ritual based on street demonstrations. The Dancers' Workshop staged a march, symbolic of protest but without any specific cause. Reactions, interestingly, were as violent as if the marchers were making specific protests. Our times are revolutionary and the symbols of protest against the status quo are the street and the march.
Typed by Cheryl Vega 7-29-95