On July 8, 1923, the Parisian Dadaists organized the most famous Dada event ever. Everybody who was anybody was on the program that night: a play by Tristan Tzara, films by Man Ray and Hans Richter, live music by George Antheil, Erik Satie, and Darius Milhaud. During the show, a riot broke out amongst the rival Dada factions, and the poet Paul Eluard was thrown off the stage, breaking his arm. The gendarmes were summoned, and the Dada Soirée was memorialized as one of the great Parisian art scandals of all time.
Inspired by the extraordinary artists who participated that night, pianist Guy Livingston has re-created the music and rediscovered the films, bringing us back to 1923 for his new one-man show, Drinks with the Dadaists.
WORLD PREMIERE: HOLLAND FESTIVAL JUNE 2006
BELGIAN PREMIERE: GHENT JULY 2006
The stage is dark, except for a spotlight illuminating a bicycle wheel from below (homage to Marcel Duchamp), which turns slowly, casting an ominous shadow onto the ceiling. The films are all with live piano music, performed by Livingston.
Man Ray's Return to Reason (2 min)newly re-set to music of George Antheil, who played at the first screening.
Manhatta by Charles Sheeler, music by George Antheil (6 min)(film celebrating the construction of New York's skyscrapers)
Rhythmus 21, the first abstract film, by Eggeling and Richter (3 min)music by George Antheil.
Hats before Breakfast, by Hans Richter (5 min)a comic film including Milhaud as one of the actors. Music by Darius Milhaud.
Ursonate by Kurt Schwitters (4 min excerpt) (not a film, rather a vocal performance art piece, performed in period cardboard cutout dada costumes)
Feature film: Entracte by Picabia and René Clair; music by Erik Satie (18 min) The most famous Dada film ever includes a chess game between Man Ray and Duchamp on the roof of the Théâtre du Chatelet in Paris, also a runaway hearse and a camel. Livingston plays piano and percussion.