The Fantasy World of Bernard Herrmann (1988, 89)
A 35-minute dance for six set to 1950's science fiction & romantic music by ground-breaking film composer Bernard Herrmann. This work is about artifice and the infiltration of movie cliches into our lives. It includes numerous brief exact replicas of press photo stills from films of the 1950's, 60's, & 70's.
Premiered at the Joyce Theater, New York City, 1988. Reworked & revised to premiere at Dance Theater Workshop in NYC in 1989. Performed by Stephanie Skura & Company, & by Zenon Dance of Minneapolis, on tour nationwide & worldwide. Lighting by ML Geiger, costumes by Liz Prince. Created in collaboration with company members Karl Anderson, Beboit Lachambre, Eric Diamond, David Rousseve, Karen Langevin, Barbara Mahler, Stephanie Skura, & Debra Wanner.
Full-length video document, Version 1 (1988) & Version 2 (1989)
(Version 2 begins at 34")
"Brief disjunct images heighten the illusion of surreal worlds operating according to their own logic or illogic. The lighting & Herrmann's music of sci-fi movie classics reinforce the notion of aberrant happenings in worlds askew." Village Voice"
"If Alfred Hitchcock were a choreographer, this is what he'd do." Alex Glos.
"You're the only choreographer I know whose pieces I wish would never end." Olivia Georgia"
"I loved the pluperfect hell out of it." Glover McGhee"
"The major new modern work on the program....a dance theater piece brimming with wit & irony. Herrmann was one of the great composers of film scores...Skura quotes from a large selection of genres, from film noir to Hitchcock horror to beach movies, often using freeze-frame tableaux to halt the dancers & create living movie posters: then the lights brighten & the stylization breaks up, calling up the dread & menace behind the cinematic illusions. It's highly original, gently provocative, filled with wonderful transformations & great spirit." Mike Steele, Minneapolis Star Tribune
One of the most thrilling works of art – in any medium – I’ve ever seen. (Jamie Leo, theater artist, visual artist)