THE NEWS from the world of Ballet mécanique

March 16-17, 2018 Wellington, NZ— The New Zealand Festival presents the "down under" premiere of Ballet mécanique, using "mechatronic" drummers and loudspeakers with live percussionsits, under the direction of Michael Norris.

Everywhere in theaters, festivals, and on PBS — Alexandra Dean's film Bombshell, about Hedy Lamarr, her unknown career as an inventor, and how George Antheil helped her with her most importnat invention (using ideas from Ballet mécanique) opens everywhere.

March 2017 Medford, MA— Tufts University presents a two-day festival, March 6-7, of the film music of George Antheil, Paris to Hollywood, featuring a new 2K HD print of Ballet mécanique, and the US premiere of a new version of the score for solo pianist and eight loudspeakers. The performance and film will be repeated on March 9 at Brown University in Providence, RI.
April 21, 2016

Montréal, Canada — The Société de musique contemporaine du Québec, Walter Boudreau, artistic director, will present the North American premiere of the new "concerto" version of Ballet mécanique for solo piano and "acousmonium" of eight loudspeakers, synchronized with the Léger/Murphy film, as part of a concert called "Big Apple Jam."

Boston — The Boston Modern Orchestra Project releases its recording of their 2009 performance of Ballet mécanique, akong with their 2008 performance of A Jazz Symphony, on a dual layer SACD.
October 26, 2013

Magdeburg, Germany — At the Sinuston Festival, pianist Guy Livingston premieres the new "concerto" version of Ballet mécanique for solo piano and "acousmonium" of eight loudspeakers, synchonrized with the Léger/Murphy film. The performance is rescheduled from October 24 because an unexploded American World War II bomb was discovered in a building nearby, and a large part of the city was evacuated! (George would have loved it.)

April 7, 2013
Nashville, TN — VORTEX Ensemble at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University performed Ballet mécanique with the Léger/Murphy film, following a daylong symposium on art, music, and robots. Yamaha supplied eight grand Disklavier player pianos. The audience loved it so much, the group had to play it again!

Brussels, Belgium — The Ictus Ensemble performed Ballet mécanique twice: on December 7, 2012, at the Opéra de Lille, and on March 13, 2013 at the Kaaitheater, with the Léger/Murphy film.

November 29, 2011

Pultizer-prize winning author Richard Rhodes released his book about George Antheil, Hedy Lamarr, and their invention of spread-spectrum technology at the beginning of World War II, called Hedy's Folly. The book got a front-page review in the Sunday New York Times, but contains a number of serious errors, including the claim that Antheil used multiple player pianos in the 1927 Carnegie Hall performance of Ballet mécanique! The author promised to fix the mistake in the paperback edition, but didn't.

July 19-20, 2010
Oldenburg, Germany — The Oldenburgishces Staatsorchester. under the baton of Thomas Dorsch, performed Ballet mécanique along with the Léger/Murphy film. The concert also featured works by Varése, Debussy, and Ravel. details

Cambridge, UK — Antheil's rarely-heard 1925 Ballet mécanique—the single-pianola version—was performed by Anglia Sinfonia at Anglia Ruskin University's West Road Concert Hall. The pianola soloist was the estimable Rex Lawson, and the conductor was Paul Jackson.

November 13, 2009
Boston — The Boston Modern Orchestra Project, under the baton of artistic director Gil Rose, performed Ballet mécanique on Friday, November 13, 2009, at Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, on a program called "Big Bang," which also featured works by Varése and Lou Harrison. Eight Yamaha Disklaviers played the pianola parts.
November 7, 2009
Boston — The Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Film Program at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston showed "Bad Boy Made Good," the documentary film about George Antheil and the Ballet mécanique, at 5:00 pm. The 72-minute film was followed by a screening of the video of the Ballet mécanique Robotic Orchestra at the National Gallery of Art, and a Q&A session with producer/writer/realizer Paul Lehrman.
March 3, 2009

Chicago — FulcrumPoint New Music Project performed the Chicago premiere of Ballet mécanique at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 East Randolph Drive, as the finale for a wild-sounding concert called "Dada Machinations." Eight Story & Clark player pianos were supplied by QRS Music.

May 29-
June 29, 2008

"New York — "Frequency Hopping," with musical score provided by the Ballet mécanique Automated Orchestra!

The Ballet mécanique Automated Orchestra, created by the League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots and programmed by Paul Lehrman, provided the musical accompaniment—written by Joshua Fried—for a new play by Elyse Singer, about Hedy Lamarr and George Antheil, called "Frequency Hopping," May 29–June 29 at 3-Legged Dog Art & Technology Center, 80 Greenwich Street (at Rector Street), New York City.

PLUS: On June 7, a special concert called "Antheil's Legacy" featured new works by modern composers performed by the Ballet mécanique Automated Orchestra, as well as the world premiere of the Murphy/Léger film Ballet mécanique, with Antheil's score performed by the Automated Orchestra. (In addition, the film was shown by itself after the performance on June 22.) details

April 25, 2008
Medford, MA — The multicamera digital video of the National Gallery of Art's installation of Ballet mécanique with a four-channel Ambisonic surround soundtrack was shown at the "ElectronNME" concert by the Tufts University Electronic Music Lab and New Music Ensemble, at 8 pm in Distler Recital Hall in the Granoff Music Center.
September 1, 2007

Miami Beach — Wolfsonian Museum to feature robotic Ballet mécanique, screenings of Bad Boy Made Good and Léger/Murphy film, performance of 1953 Ballet, and more—December 1-11!
The robotic installation of Ballet mécanique by Paul Lehrman and Eric Singer's LEMUR will go on display at the Wolfsonian Museum of Florida International University, 1001 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, on December 1. There will be a gala opening party from 7 to 11 pm that evening, and then the installation will perform daily at 1:00 and 4:00 pm for museumgoers through December 11th.
In addition, the museum will be screening the award-winning documentary film about the Ballet mécanique, "Bad Boy Made Good," daily at 2:00 pm, and there will be continuous showings of the original Léger/Murphy film, Ballet mécanique, with Antheil's soundtrack edited and realized by Paul.
And if that's not enough, the New World Symphony Percussion Consort will be performing Antheil's 1953 re-write of Ballet mécanique, along with a live "re-visualization" of the Léger/Murphy film, on November 30 at 7:00 pm, at the nearby Lincoln Theater, 541 Lincoln Road.

August 9, 2006
San Francisco — National Gallery of Art Ballet mécanique video to be screened at AES October 7
The multicamera digital video of the National Gallery of Art's installation of Ballet mecanique will have a rare public showing at the annual conference of the Audio Engineering Society, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, Saturday, October 7th.
Paul Lehrman will be presenting an expanded paper by him and Eric Singer on the installation, which will be followed by a screening of the video, with a four-channel Ambisonic surround soundtrack. details
June 2006
Paris — "Ballet mécanique at the National Gallery of Art" presentation at NIME
Eric Singer, director of LEMUR, the League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots, will be presenting a paper by him and Paul Lehrman describing the Ballet mécanique installation at the National Gallery, followed by the premierescreening of a new video depicting the installation. The presentation will be on June 7 at the New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME) '06 conference at IRCAM, the prestigious musical research center in Paris.
"Bad Boy Made Good" and National Gallery of Art video to be screened at film festival
The Boston-area public premiere of "Bad Boy Made Good" and the world premiere of the video of the Ballet mecanique installation at the National Gallery of Art will take place on Sunday, June 10, at the Doc Kountze Annual Film Festival, McGlynn Middle School, Medford, Massachusetts. The films will be the final events in an exciting day-long festival of films by local amateur and professional filmmakers.
Guy Livingston presents "Dada At the Movies" in Amsterdam June 9-11,
featuring music by Antheil

Pianist extraordinaire and Antheil champion Guy Livingston presents the world-premiere of his new one-man show, Dada at the Movies, at the prestigious Holland Festival. Guy sings, acts, and plays percussion and virtuoso piano, accompanying five avant-garde films from the 1920’s, three of which feature music by George Antheil. 
April 9, 2006
"Bad Boy Made Good" DVD release announced!
To coincide with the broadcast premiere of the documentary film about George Antheil and the Ballet mécanique "Bad Boy Made Good," the Ballet mécanique Project announces that orders for the DVD version of the film are now being accepted at and by the Electronic Music Foundation at 1-888-749-9998. Retail price is $35.
New Jersey and West Virginia Public Television schedule "Bad Boy Made Good"
"Bad Boy Made Good" will be shown on the New Jersey Network's stations Friday night, April 28, at 1:00 am, and on West Virginia Public Broadcasting's stations on Thursday, May 3, at 10:00 pm.
March 26, 2006

National Gallery of Art extends the Ballet mécanique installation!
CBS-TV's Sunday Morning and NPR's Weekend America pay visits, Fresh Air reviews…

The Ballet mécanique installation at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, scheduled to close March 29, has had its run extended through May 7. The installation has been reviewed by the Washington Post, the Associated Press, New Music Box, and the Boston Phoenix, and was featured on the March 26 edition of CBS-TV's Sunday Morning, on NPR's Weekend America on March 11/12, and on Fresh Air on April 4.

March 1, 2006

WETA-TV Washington schedules broadcast premiere of "Bad Boy Made Good"…
Other states to follow

The documentary film about George Antheil and the Ballet mécanique "Bad Boy Made Good" will have its US broadcast premiere on WETA-TV, channel 26, Washington DC's PBS affiliate, on Sunday, April 9, at 3:00 pm. There will be a repeat broadcast
Monday night, April 10, at 1:00 am.

January 16, 2006

Ballet mécanique takes Washington!
The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC announces that a computer-driven orchestra playing Ballet mécanique will be featured as part of its exhibit on Dadaist art in the spring. The orchestra, consisting of 16 Gulbransen MIDI grand player pianos, and percussion and sound effects played by robots built by the League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots, will perform a 10-minute version of Ballet mécanique twice daily, March 12-29.

October 26, 2005

"Bad Boy" to be screened in San Francisco
Bad Boy Made Good will be screened at the holiday party of the San Francisco chapter of the Audio Engineering Society on December 13, at the Meyer Theatre at Ex'pression College for Digital Arts in Emeryville.

1, 2005

The Belgium-based Hermes Ensemble, who played the Ballet mécanique back in 2000, will be performing it again, in collaboration with Mol Percussion Orchestra, conducted by Filip Rathé.
And this time it will accompany the Léger film.
September 17, at 6 pm,
part of the Klarafestival van Vlaanderen
Palais des Beaux Arts, Ter Arkenzaal, Brussels, Belgium

August 30, 2005

New York City — The Bad Boy comes to AES — again!!
A new cut of the documentary film Bad Boy Made Good will be screened at the 119th conference of the Audio Engineering Society (AES), Jacob Javits Center, New York City, October 9, at 5 pm. details

22, 2005
Read this
write-up in Mix
August 1, 2005

UNSEEN CINEMA to be released on DVD October 18
An amazing seven-DVD set from the Unseen Cinema collection of early avant-garde film—featuring the Léger/Antheil Ballet mécanique—is scheduled to be released by Image Entertainment on October 18.

Visit this site for details and to place a pre-release order at a 25% discount!

June 30, 2005

Another festival screeening of Bad Boy Made Good:
Budapest, Hungary

November 8, 2005

March 1, 2005

More performances by the London Sinfonietta!
England's premiere new-music ensemble repeats last year's smash-hit concert series, featuring Antheil's Ballet mécanique with Léger's film, conducted by Jurjen Hempel:
May 1, Zaragoza, Spain • May 4, Parco della Musica, Rome, Italy
May 7, Concertgebouw, Bruges, Belgium • May 11, Sage, Gateshead, UK

June 10, Holland Festival, Amsterdam

Also featured were works by Cage, Varése, Reich, Aphex Twin,
and improvisations by Plaid and Jamie Lidell (Supercollider)

January 30, 2005
The Ballet mécanique was featured at the Light in Winter Festival, Ithaca, New York, with a lecture by Paul, a screening of Bad Boy Made Good, and topped off by a live
performance of
Antheil's score with the Léger film.
October 28, 2004

San Francisco — The Bad Boy comes to AES!
The documentary film Bad Boy Made Good was shown as part of the Historical Events
series at the 117th conference of the Audio Engineering Society (AES),
at San Francisco's Moscone Center. details


Screening dates for Bad Boy Made Good:
at Northern Lights Film Festival, Newburyport, MA: October 2
at Flanders Film Festival, Ghent Belgium: October 7 & 9

June 22, 2004

Ballet mécanique Films in Ireland!
The Léger/Antheil Ballet mécanique AND the documentary film Bad Boy Made Good were shown to enthusiastic crowds on June 22, at the Arttrail Soundworks Midsummer Festival in Cork City, Ireland. details

February-April 2004

Bad Boy Made GoodScreening dates for Bad Boy Made Good at England & New England colleges:

February 10: Tufts University, Medford, MA
March 11: Trinity College of Music, London, UK
March 26: Hartt School, University of Hartford, CT
April 1: University of Massachusetts Lowell
April 15: Brandeis University, Waltham, MA

March 2004

The London Sinfonietta takes the Ballet mécanique on tour in the UK!
England's premiere new-music ensemble programmed five performances
in March, 2004 of Antheil's Ballet mécanique with Léger's film, conducted by Jurjen Hempel:
Friday 12 March - Royal Festival Hall, London
Sat 13 March - Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry • Tues 16 March - Anvil, Basingstoke
Fri 26 March - Dome, Brighton • Sat 27 March - Royal Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool
These concerts featured works by Cage, Varése, Reich, Aphex Twin,
and improvisations by Squarepusher and Jamie Lidell (Supercollider)

December 2003

Antheil and Ballet mécanique events in Holland:

Tuesday, December 2, at the Grand Theatre in Groningen, a recital (and CD release party) by pianist and Antheil interpreter extraordinaire Guy Livingston, preceded by a screening of the Léger film.

Sunday, December 14 at the Filmmuseum Amsterdam, a special Ballet mécanique evening at 9:45 pm, featuring a screening of the Léger film with a discussion between Filmmuseum curator Mark-Paul Meyer and Unseen Cinema's Bruce Posner, about the many versions of the film and music.

September 21, 2003
We Won!
Bad Boy Made Good takes the Audience First Prize in the Documentary category at New Haven's FilmFest8. In fact, it gets more votes than any other film in the festival.
August 1 , 2003

Bad Boy Made Good, the new documentary film about George Antheil and the Ballet mécanique,
is accepted into the New Haven Film Festival, to be shown at 3:30 pm on Sunday, September 21.

A trailer and slide show for Bad Boy Made Good are now online!

July 15, 2003

"Bad Boy Made Good" wins the Bronze Telly Award —
the first competition it was entered into!

June 19, 2003

The National Film Theatre at the British Film Institute, in London,
announced four showings of the new version of
the Ballet mécanique film and score, Augu
st 10-25.

June 2003

Hear Paul Lehrman interviewed on NPR's Studio 360.
Check local stations for time.

Now online, thanks to Minnesota Public Radio:
Watch a clip of the Ballet mécanique film
and hear the incredible performance by the San Francisco Symphony!

May 1, 2003
Read an amazing essay by George Antheil about his future as a composer, which chillingly predicts the response to the Ballet mécanique — written when he was 16 years old!!
March 21-23 , 2003

The George Antheil Conference in Trenton, New Jersey

Capital Arts in Trenton

Scholars, composers, performers, dancers, critics, scientists, friends, relatives, and fans
all came together for a terrific three days of music, talks, films, and networking — all about
the redoubtable George Antheil and his music. Read the details

Opening night featured the world premiere of the new documentary film "Bad Boy Made Good". Produced by Paul Lehrman and directed by Ron Frank, this 71-minute documentary describes the whole history of the Ballet mécanique and its revival.

The film features interviews with composers Henry Brant, Benjamin Lees, Truman Rex Fisher, David Raksin, and Charles Amirkhanian; musicologist MaryDavis; former Schirmer editorial director Bill Holab; Conductor Jeffrey Fischer; poet Stanley Burnshaw (who knew Antheil in Paris!); Antheil's son Peter; and the irrepressible Guy Livingston.

We are now looking to get the film on the air, and into film festivals around the world. Stay tuned!

Other reports from Trenton here

March 2 , 2003

SMCQthe Société de musique contemporaine du Québec, conducted by Walter Boudreau, kicked off the first Montreal New Music Festival
with a rip-roaring performance of the Ballet mécanique, which was recorded and later Webcast on CBC Radio.

"It still scores high on the loud-o-meter and the nut-o-meter, with its clattering keyboards and savagely pounding bass drums." The Montreal Gazette

"Brash, energetic and awesome in the truest sense of the word."—The Toronto Globe and Mail

Read the complete reviews here.

November 13, 2002
February 17, 2003

On November 13, 2002, in Columbus, Ohio, the Ballet mécanique was, for the very first time, performed live by a full ensemble, while accompanying the Ballet mécanique FILM, in perfect synchronization!

The performance, by the Peabody Conservatory Percussion Ensemble, conducted by student Julian Pellicano, was the keynote event at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, in Columbus, Ohio.

And they did it again in Baltimore, February 17, 2003.

Neither snow nor rain...Despite two feet of snow and the complete closing of Baltimore, the intrepid students and faculty of the Peabody Conservatory did an encore performance of the film and music to a standing ovation. Paul couldn't be there because of the storm, but we have pictures!

2001 through 2005

The Ballet mécanique film covers the world!

A new print of the Leger /Murphy film "Ballet mécanique", is featured in the amazing collection "Unseen Cinema." This ambitious program of early avant-garde film was premiered in Moscow in June, 2001; had a gala premiere September 7 at the Whitney Museum in New York; and is now touring the world through 2005.

See if it's playing in your town!

This new print is accompanied by George Antheil's musical masterpiece of the same name, in all of its mechanized glory, for the first time in history .

The Village Voice said "The percussive jangling of Antheil's pounding piano and occasional siren blast accentuate the movie's piston-gear motion and make this venerable avant-garde piece seem nearly new."

The Boston Phoenix called the synchronization "brilliant"!

In July, 2002, NPR did a major story on the series.

View a four-minute clip here (Thanks to Minnesota Public Radio!).

details about the world tour.

And see this article about the film and the music in Sound On Sound magazine!

Don't know what the Ballet mécanique is? Click here for the FAQs

Reports from the first performances, 1999-2003:
Premiere: LOWELL, MA
Carnegie Hall
San Francisco Symphony



Hello, Columbus
with the Léger film!

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