le ballet mecanique extended!


due to popular demand the national gallery of art has extended performances of le ballet mecanique through may 14th. i highly recommend getting down to see/hear it before then.


this is the first all-mechanical version of composer George Antheil’s score. the technology did not exist during Antheil’s lifetime to perform the piece as originally intended. now, for the first time, it is being performed daily at the east wing by 16 MIDI-compatible grand player pianos, three xylophones, four bass drums, some kind of gong, a siren, bells, and three “airplane propellors,” all controlled by MIDI, using robotics built by the League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots.

performances are at 1:00 and 4:00 weekdays and 1:00 saturdays and sundays on the mezzanine of the east wing of the national gallery of art. the piece is only ten minutes long, but leave enough time to see the rest of the dada exhibit. the exhibit ends may 14th and will be on display at MOMA in new york from june 8th through september 11th. however, i don’t know if the ballet mecanique will accompany the exhibit to new york.

2 Comments so far

  1. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on March 28th, 2006 @ 9:13 pm

    I am so so so glad that this was extended through May as I haven’t made it down to see this yet, but I’m looking forward to doing so,

  2. jen m. (unregistered) on March 29th, 2006 @ 9:36 am

    i forgot to add my tip: the performance is on the mezzanine, but i recommend going up to the second floor balcony to watch the show, maybe after checking out the instruments up close first. it’s definitely loud enough to hear throughout the atrium (some people had earplugs or their fingers in their ears, luckily my hearing is shot from enough rock concerts that it didn’t bother me) and you will be able to see the instruments better.

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