Skip to content

External media
Our website uses plugins of the video portal Vimeo. When you click to play a video, you agree to the collection and sharing of your data with Vimeo and the connection to a Vimeo server is established. The external Vimeo player is loaded with Do-Not-Track parameter.

Analysis tools
In order to analyze access to our video content anonymously, we use the open source web analysis service Matomo.

For further information, please see our privacy policy.

Recording: 2015-08-15 , Tanz im August 2015 | Haus der Berliner Festspiele (Video © Walter Bickmann)

Lucinda Childs, John Adams, Frank O. Gehry

Available Light

Tanz im August 2015 | Haus der Berliner Festspiele

Production Details / Press Releases

“Available Light” After seeing “Available Light” in 1983, Anna Kisselgoff, dance critic for The New York Times, called it “a work of blazing formal beauty”. In Kisselgoff’s eyes, the collaboration between choreographer Lucinda Childs, architect Frank O. Gehry, and composer John Adams took Childs’ career to a new level, two decades after she first started out at the Judson Dance Theater. In “Available Light” the austere mathematical minimalism with which Childs permuted, repeated, and varied the concentrated movement phrases was combined with a new richness, unknown in previous works. Also ground-breaking in 1983 was the style of presentation. The work was commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles to mark the opening of its new exhibition space in a former warehouse, Temporary Contemporary. The introduction of choreography to an exhibition space, today quite common, was a radical gesture at the time. “Available Light” has now been reconstructed for a world tour and will be performed for the first time in Germany. After the premiere in Los Angeles in June, “Available Light” will open the Kampnagel Festival in Hamburg and shortly after it, Tanz im August. “Available Light” is just another iconic collaborative project featuring Lucinda Childs’ work to go on show in Berlin this year; the other being “Einstein on the Beach”: In her review of Childs’ legacy, performance historian RoseLee Goldberg comments on how in “Available Light” Childs managed to find her own rhythmic pulse to Adams’ complex, structured music, while simultaneously devising an elegant, three-dimensional design for Gehry’s industrial stage construction.

Production History: The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles originally commissioned “Available Light” in 1983 during a period when the museum was under construction and working in site-specific locations. Under the guidance of founding curator Julie Lazar, the Stages and Performances series at MOCA commissioned artists to collaborate with architects, photographers, writers and designers to create new works for selected sites throughout the community. Lucinda Childs was the first artist invited to create a new collaborative piece with maverick LA based architect Frank Gehry who was known for his sculptural approach to buildings and use of modest materials. Concurrently, California based composer John Adams was asked to join the collaboration and create fifty-five minutes of music that he called “Light Over Water”. Childs then invited couturier Ronaldus Shamask to design the costumes. Gehry was subsequently engaged by the museum to renovate its transitional program galleries; two city-owned warehouses newly dubbed the Temporary Contemporary (TC). The two oddly angled buildings that together comprised the TC inspired Gehry’s design for “Available Light”. “Available Light” inaugurated MOCA’s public programs bringing together leading contemporary artists at a pivotal moment in their careers. Following the premiere, a proscenium version was created by Frank Gehry for the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Opera House that fall as part of the Next Wave Festival. “Available Light” has rarely been seen since.

John Adams (Composer), conductor, and creative thinker – John Adams occupies a unique position in the world of American music. His works, both operatic and symphonic, stand out among contemporary classical compositions for their depth of expression, brilliance of sound, and the profoundly humanist nature of their themes. Works spanning more than three decades have entered the repertoire and are among the most performed of all contemporary classical music, among them “Harmonielehre”, “Shaker Loops”, “Chamber Symphony”, “Doctor Atomic Symphony”, “Short Ride in a Fast Machine”, and his Violin Concerto. His stage works, all in collaboration with director Peter Sellars, include “Nixon in China” (1987), “The Death of Klinghoffer” (1991), “El Niño” (2000), “Doctor Atomic” (2005), “A Flowering Tree” (2006), and the Passion oratorio “The Gospel According to the Other Mary” (2012). His recent works include “City Noir” for orchestra; “Absolute Jest” (based on fragments of late Beethoven quartets) for string quartet and orchestra; his Passion oratorio, “The Gospel According to the Other Mary”; the Saxophone Concerto; and “Second Quartet”. “City Noir” and the Saxophone Concerto, as well as “The Gospel According to the Other Mary”, were recently released on Nonesuch Records and Deutsche Grammophon, respectively. 2015 will see the premiere Adams’s new dramatic symphony for violin and orchestra, “Scheherazade.2”, written for Leila Josefowicz. Adams has received honorary doctorates from Harvard, Northwestern University, Cambridge University, and the Juilliard School. A provocative writer, he is author of the highly acclaimed autobiography “Hallelujah Junction” and is a frequent contributor to the ‘New York Times Book Review’. As a conductor, Adams appears with the world’s major orchestras in programs combining his own works with a wide variety of repertoire ranging from Beethoven and Mozart to Ives, Carter, Zappa, Glass, and Ellington. He has conducted illustrious ensembles such as the Houston Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the New World Symphony orchestras, as well as the Orquesta Nacional de España in Madrid. Adams is currently Creative Chair of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Recent recordings include the Deutsche Grammophon release of “The Gospel According to the Other Mary” featuring the Los Angeles Philharmonic, “City Noir” and Saxophone Concerto with the St. Louis Symphony, the Grammy Award-winning album featuring “Harmonielehre” and “Short Ride in a Fast Machine” with the San Francisco Symphony, and the Nonesuch DVD of the Metropolitan Opera’s production of “Nixon in China” conducted by the composer.

Lucinda Childs (Choreographer) is one of America’s most important modern choreographers. She began her career as choreographer and performer in 1963 as an original member of the Judson Dance Theater in New York. After forming her own dance company in 1973, Ms. Childs collaborated with Robert Wilson and Philip Glass on the opera “Einstein on the Beach” in 1976 participating as principal performer and solo choreographer for which she received an Obie award. In the subsequent revivals in ’84 and ’92 Childs choreographed the two “Field Dances,” and was cast again as principal performer. Childs has appeared in five of Wilson’s major productions among them, Marguerite Duras’ “Maladie de la Mort” opposite Michel Piccoli, “I Was Sitting on my Patio This Guy Appeared I Thought I Was Hallucinating” opposite Robert Wilson, and Heiner Müller’s “Quartett”, and Wilson and Glass’s opera “White Raven”. Since 1979, Ms. Childs has collaborated with a number of composers and designers on a series of large-scale productions. The first of these was “Dance”, choreographed in 1979 with music by Philip Glass, and a film/decor by Sol LeWitt. It was during rehearsals for “Einstein” that Childs and Glass came up with the original idea for her seminal work, “Dance”. “Dance” continues to tour extensively in the United States and Europe and was cited by the Wall Street Journal (2011), as “one of the greatest achievements of the 20th Century.” In a Washington Post review of “Dance”, Alan M. Kriegsman wrote, “a few times, at most, in the course of a decade a work of art comes along that makes a genuine breakthrough, defining for us new modes of perception and feeling and clearly belonging as much to the future as to the present. Such a work is “Dance”. “Available Light” (1983) with music by John Adams and split level set designed by Frank Gehry will be revived for the company’s 2014–15 season along with a new work in collaboration with Philip Glass and visual artist, James Turrell.” Since 1981, Ms. Childs has received a number of commissions from major ballet companies and has choreographed and directed several opera productions including: Gluck’s “Orfeo ed Euridice” for the Los Angeles Opera, Mozart’s “Zaide” for La Monnaie in Brussels, Stravinsky’s “Le Rossignol et Oedipe”, Vivaldi’s “Farnace”, and a new production of John Adams “Doctor Atomic” for the Opera du Rhin in 2014. Most recently she choreographed and directed Händel’s “Alessandro” for Parnassus Arts Productions featuring Max Emanual Cencic in the lead role and voted “Opera of the Year” by Mezzo-TV. Childs received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1979. She is also the recipient of the NEA/NEFA American Masterpiece Award, and in 2004 she was elevated from the rank of Officer to Commander in France’s Order of Arts and Letters.

Frank O. Gehry (Set Design) raised in Toronto, Canada, Frank Gehry moved with his family to Los Angeles in 1947. Mr. Gehry received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Southern California in 1954, and he studied City Planning at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. In subsequent years, Mr. Gehry has built an architectural career that has spanned over five decades and produced public and private buildings in America, Europe and Asia. His work has earned Mr. Gehry several of the most significant awards in the architectural field, including the Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize in Architecture, the Pritzker Prize, the Wolf Prize in Art (Architecture), the Praemium Imperiale Award, the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Award, the National Medal of Arts, the Friedrich Kiesler Prize, the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal, the Royal Institute of British Architects Gold Medal, and the Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts. Notable projects include: Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain; Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum Expansion at the University of Minnesota; Nationale-Nederlanden Building in Prague; DZ Bank Building in Berlin; Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York; Maggie’s Centre, a cancer patient center in Dundee, Scotland; Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California; Jay Pritzker Pavilion and BP Bridge in Millennium Park in Chicago, Illinois; Hotel Marques de Riscal in El Ciego, Spain; Transformation Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, Ontario; Peter B. Lewis Science Library in Princeton, New Jersey; Lou Ruvo Brain Institute in Las Vegas, Nevada; Ohr O’Keefe Museum in Biloxi, Mississippi; New Campus for New World Symphony in Miami, Florida; Eight Spruce Street Residential Tower in New York City; Opus Hong Kong Residential; Signature Theatre in New York City; House for the Make it Right Foundation in New Orleans, Louisiana; Biomuseo in Panama; the Foundation Louis Vuitton Museum in Paris, France; and the Dr. Chau Chak Wing Building for the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia. Current projects include: Guggenheim Abu Dhabi; LUMA Foundation in Arles, France; and the Eisenhower Memorial in Washington, D.C.. Projects under construction are the Divan Orchestra in Berlin, Germany and the West Campus for Facebook in Menlo Park, California.

Cast & Credits

Music: John Adams
Choreography: Lucinda Childs
Stage design: Frank O. Gehry
Light: Bevely Emmons, John Torres
Costume: Kasia Walicka Maimone
Sounddesign: Mark Gray
With: The Lucinda Childs Dance Company
Ty Boomershine, Josh Christopher, Katie Dorn, Katherine Helen Fisher, Sarah Hillmon, Anne Lewis, Sharon Milanese, Patrick John O ‘Neill, Matt Pardo, Lonnie Poupard Jr., Caitlin Scranton, Shakirah Stewart
A production by Pomegranate Arts, Inc.
Executive producer: Linda Brumbach
Production: Kaleb Kilkenny, Alisa E. Regas
Co-operation with the management: Linsey Bostwick
Company Manager: Katie Ichtertz
Production: Jeremy Lydic
Stage technology: Jason Kaiser
Sound Supervisor: Lilly West
Design Team: Leif Halverson, Meaghan Lloyd, David Nam
Construction stage: Tom Carroll Scenery
Assistant to Kosüm: Mary Kokie McNaugher
Costume design: Colin Davis Jones Studios
LCDC Sample Tube: Ty Boomershine
LCDC Training management: Sharon Milanese, Matt Pardo
LCDC Secondary: Josh Christopher, Benny Olk
The samples for “Available Light” (2015) were held at the Mark Morris Dance Center.
“Light Over Water” by John Adams is owned by Hendon Music, Inc., a company of Boosey & Hawkes, publisher and copyright owner.
Thanks to Katia Arfara, Bill Bissell, Michael Chase, Rachel Chanoff, Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota, Constanze Eislet, Brigitte Fuerle, Sue Killam, Meaghan Lloyd, Jason McCullough, Zizi Mueller, Sven Neumann, Michael Solomon, Chad Smith, Nick Stuccio, Virve Sutinen, Matias Tarnopolsky, Claire Verlet, Marc Warren and Renae Williams.
The Reconstruction of “Available Light” 2015 was produced by Pomegranate Arts, Inc., in co-production with: Cal Performances, University of California, Berkeley; Festspielhaus St. Pölten; FringeArts, Philadelphia, supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage; Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at the Music Center and The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association; International Summer Festival Kampnagel, Hamburg; Onassis Cultural Center – Athens; Dance in August, HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin; Théâtre de la Ville – Paris and Festival d’Automne à Paris.
“Available Light” (1983) was developed at MASS MOCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art).

Tanz im August 2015
Artistic director: Virve Sutinen
Production management: Sven Neumann
Artistic collaboration & project management: Andrea Niederbuchner
Tanz im August is a festival by HAU Hebbel am Ufer, funded by the the Capital Culture Fund and the Governing Mayor of Berlin – Senate Chancellery – Cultural Affairs.
Supported by Aventis Foundation.

Haus der Berliner Festspiele

Schaperstraße 24
10719 Berlin

Tickets: +49 (o)30 254 89 100

Video Documentation

The video documentation is produced on behalf of the Senate Department for Culture and Social Cohesion. The purpose of this contract is to document productions in the field of contemporary dance in Berlin. The master recordings are archived by the University Library of the Berlin University of Arts. Copies of the recordings on DVD are available for viewing exclusively in the reference collections of the following archives (at media desks in these institutions):

University Library of the Berlin University of Arts
Mediathek für Tanz und Theater des Internationalen Theaterinstituts / Mime Centrum Berlin
Inter-University Centre for Dance Berlin (HZT)

Lucinda Childs / Trailers and Video Documentations

To top