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PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art 23.1 (2001) 48-61

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Pedagogical Vaudeville 3

Yvonne Rainer

Preparation for "Pedagogical Vaudeville 3" in the Danish Academy of Art, Copenhagen, April 10-14, 2000

Preliminary E-Mail Correspondence with Yvette Brackman and Karena Nomi

January 15, 2000

Dear Yvette:

It would necessarily be a quite short performance, and I would have to send instructions/assignments beforehand, such as:

Prepare a 1- to 4-minute presentation derived from 1) what you have recently or are currently reading; 2) the last movie you saw; or 3) a "situation" (invented or based on fact).

I purposely use the term "presentation" and do not specify the medium. It can be as simple as the reading of a text or as complicated as the time and place of presentation allows. One stipulation: no pantomime!

* * *

March 16, 2000

Dear Yvonne,

If you have already sent the Noel Carroll text to my home address it's fine and I will forward it to the students, but if you have not yet sent it please send it to the address below to the attention of Ida Pagh Davidsen, the secretary for Mur og Rum, and she will distribute it to the students directly. I will also give the students copies of the scripts and Peggy Phelan's essay.

The students are meeting as a group this Monday to discuss possible areas to focus on in the workshop-recent reading, film, or event. Just to be sure do you want [End Page 48] them to each come up with one of these areas to focus on individually or would you like for them to agree as a group?

Also, at this point I am sure that approximately 12 students are attending the workshop. Do you have a limit of students you would like to work with? We are all looking forward to your visit.

Kind regards, Yvette Brackman

* * *

March 16, 2000

Dear Yvette:

I am sending the Noel Carroll text to the school, attention of Ida Pagh Davidsen. In answer to your questions:

To avoid a bunch of solo "acts" each student should--individually--think about how many people he or she wants as part of her/his presentation and enlist the necessary cooperation. Any one of these could conceivably be a solo or involve as many as the whole group. No single presentation--by individual or individuals--should be more than three minutes. I think 15 people is the maximum number of participants. So there is the potential for 15 presentations. The medium is up to them: live/recorded speech, live action, video, film, discussion, recitation, reading, description of yet-to-be realized presentation. More than one presentation can happen at a time.

I must constantly remind myself of the value of mistakes, failures, interruptions, breakdowns, interferences, accidents, incompletions, muddles, mix-ups . . . and chance occurrences. They don't have to totally organize everything. They don't have to reveal everything to each other. They can surprise each other . . . and me. Have fun.

* * *

Copenhagen, 27 March

Dear Yvonne Rainer:

We (the students) have had a meeting to prepare for your workshop. We discussed what a title/theme for the workshop could be--and decided to present you with an idea we already are working with in connection with a workshop we are "teaching" in May--The (inventing of) everyday rituals that have to do with the idea of "the good life."

There have been several interpretations of the instructions/assignments you sent for us to prepare. Do you want each of us to prepare a presentation as you described--derived from a common theme as the one we suggest above--or are you interested in a more individual "inspiration" . . . or is it for us to decide? [End Page 49]

We are meeting again on Friday 31 of March--so if you have any comments, I would be glad to hear from you.

Kind regards, Karena Nomi

* * *

March 27, 2000

Dear Karena Nomi:

The problem with a "common theme" is that it runs the risk of propelling your work as a group into conventional structures of development and resolution...


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