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Press Release

Barbara Laskin

Macalester College Presents Dance Piece Set to Live John Cage Music

August 28, 2009 - St. Paul, Minn. - This fall the Macalester Theatre & Dance and Music Departments are collaborating on a significant choreographed performance of John Cage’s landmark 1948 piece, “Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano.”

Two free public performances of the “Sonatas, Interludes, and Accumulations” concert will be held on Saturday, September 26 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, September 27 at 2 p.m. in Macalester College’s Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center Theater, 1600 Grand Ave., St. Paul.

Macalester music professor and Music Department chair Mark Mazullo, an accomplished pianist, will play Cage’s complete 70-minute piece for prepared piano. A prepared piano is one in which the pitches, timbres, and dynamic responses of individual notes are altered by placing bolts, screws, mutes, rubber erasers, and other objects at particular points on the strings.

Sections of the piece have been choreographed and will be performed by Macalester dance program director Becky Heist and 10 dancers, including veteran performers Krista Langberg, Christopher Watson, Wynn Fricke, and Eric Boone. Langberg and Fricke are also visiting instructors of dance at the college.

Excerpts from Cage’s writings in Silence: Lectures and Writing by John Cage will be read aloud and will accompany the music and dance.  Macalester technical director Tom Barrett designed the lighting.

This performance is part of Macalester’s New Music Series, generously funded by the Rivendell Foundation, and is also a part of the Theater/Dance season. The performance is free and open to the public however, reservations are recommended. Call the Macalester box office at 651-696-6359 for reservations.

Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 1,858 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism, and civic engagement.