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Seeing dance for the first time


Evanston High School: Miss Page, Mr Rungy, athletics
Jules Engel Film-maker
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There was one - Miss Page. Isn't that funny? Now, why would I remember her name? There's no reason for it. It's weird, you know? Miss Page. She was also… But they… they had something very nice, I must give Evanston High School a bravo. Because every once in a while, the ladies came from the ladies club, there's a name for that. And they wanted to see me. So they asked me to come outside, outside the class and they asked me if I need anything. Now, they were aware of me, you know, being there, they liked my art and also, which has nothing to do with this event, but I'm involved with myself, but I was a top talent as an athlete. Yeah. A half-a-mile and a mile, that was mine, yeah. In all of Illinois, all the state. Yeah. So they knew that. These ladies who came from the club, the athletic side of me, you know, which brought me to California. To a degree, brought me to California. To a degree, where I could have either gone to USC [University of Southern California] or UCLA [The University of California, Los Angeles] on an athletics scholarship. But I had a teacher at Evanston High, Rangy. His name was Rangy. Mr Rangy. Geometry - I was lousy. I was the worst thing of geometry, I knew from nothing. And I could never figure those things out but he desperately wanted me to go to a university that he left and his son just finishing. He wanted me to go there on a scholarship and he could arrange all that because I would have an athletic scholarship, plus an aesthetic scholarship. Both, you know? But I could only see Los Angeles at that time and I had to go. I had to come to this city, yeah.

The late Hungarian-American film-maker Jules Engel is best known for his contribution to the field of animation. His work includes the dance sequences in Walt Disney's 'Fantasia' and the creation of 'Mr Magoo'. His films and lithographs are housed in museums all over the world and have won many awards.

Listeners: Tamara Tracz Bill Moritz

Tamara Tracz is a writer and filmmaker based in London.

William Moritz received his doctorate from USC and pursues parallel careers as filmmaker and writer. His forty-four experimental and animation films have been screened at museums in Paris, Amsterdam and Tokyo, among others. He published widely on Oskar Fischinger, James Whitney, Bruce Conner, the Fleischers and 200 pages of animation history for an AbsolutVodka website. He wrote chapters for the "Oxford History of Cinema", appeared in several television documentaries, curated art exhibits and received a lifetime achievement trophy from the Netherlands Royal Academy for his work with visual music. He has served on film festival juries and received an American Film Institute filmmaking grant. His poetry and plays are also performed and published. He is a leading expert of Oskar Fischinger and recently published a biography of him. He teaches at The California Institute of the Arts.

Tags: Evanston High School, University of Southern California, The University of California, Los Angeles, UCLA

Duration: 2 minutes, 10 seconds

Date story recorded: April 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008