Interview with Hunter Johnson, 1978
NamesJohnson, Hunter, 1906-1998 (Interviewee)Bowers, Theresa (Interviewer)
Dance Oral History Project
Dates / OriginDate Created: 1978-12-27
Library locationsJerome Robbins Dance DivisionShelf locator: *MGZTCO 3-466
TopicsGraham, MarthaJohnson, Hunter, 1906-1998 -- InterviewsGraham, Martha. Letter to the worldScarlet letter (Choreographic work : Graham)Deaths and entrances (Choreographic work : Graham)Music and dance
NotesCitation/reference: For transcript of interview see: *MGZMT 3-466.Content: Interview with Hunter Johnson conducted by Theresa Bowers for the Oral History Project of the Jerome Robbins Dance Division, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, on December 27, 1978 in Raleigh, North Carolina.Source characteristics: Sound quality is excellent.Bibliographic history: Title supplied by cataloger.Venue: Recorded by Theresa Bowers for the Oral History Project of the Jerome Robbins Dance Division of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts 1978, December 27 Raleigh (N.C..)Funding: The conservation and cataloging of this recording was made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. The support of the National Endowment for the Arts is also gratefully acknowledged.
Physical DescriptionAudiocassetteExtent: 1 audio cassette (approximately 1 hr., 31 min.) ; polyester; quarter-track; 1.875 ips
DescriptionStreaming audio file 1 (approximately 47 minutes). Hunter Johnson speaks with Theresa Bowers about his family background and his education, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the Eastman School of Music; his decision to become a composer; his first encounter with modern dance, a performance by Martha Graham; his ideas about the relation of music and dance including with respect to the use of existing music compared with a commissioned score; his first impression of Graham; his work for Erik Hawkins; his collaboration with Graham on Letter to the world, by correspondence and at the Bennington College Summer School of the Dance; the work's premiere. In the course of speaking about his time at the Bennington College Summer School of the Dance, Johnson also briefly speaks about Louis Horst.Streaming audio file 2 (approximately 44 minutes). Hunter Johnson speaks with Theresa Bowers about his collaboration with Martha Graham on her work Letter to the world; Graham's work Deaths and entrances including his interpretation of the work; collaborating with Graham on The scarlet letter after a long hiatus in their relationship; his problems with the orchestration and part of the original scenario; the evolution of the choreography from an emphasis on Hester Prynne to Dimmesdale; his view that a substantial portion of the choreography was created by the dancers; revivals of Letter to the world and Deaths and entrances; reasons he would probably refuse any new commissions to compose for a choreographer; Graham's personality; his thoughts on Merce Cunningham and John Cage's music including an anecdote about Cage; Graham's remarks on Puritanism.
Type of ResourceSound recording
IdentifiersRLIN/OCLC: 78374732NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b12118236Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): e3b2d660-78bd-0136-a43e-00a935fbaf3e
Rights StatementThe New York Public Library holds or manages the copyright(s) in this item. If you need information about reusing this item, please go to: http://nypl.org/permissions
Item timeline of events