Video Short: Great Performances: A New Way to Film the Arts

Created in 1972, Great Performances showcased the best in arts and culture. Director Don Mischer worked on dance shows featuring greats like Mikhail Baryshnikov, Twyla Tharp, Gregory Hines and Savion Glover. Mischer’s approach differed from how dance had been televised in the past. “The way that dance was shot on television was straight-in, theatrically, and a good director would never cut off a finger or cut off a toe. You’d get the entire body in. It was like capturing the content as it existed. Baryshnikov by Tharp became more about how do we use the medium to create its own emotions.”


Excerpted from “Pioneers of THIRTEEN: The 80s – Trusted Voice” airing on THIRTEEN — New York’s Public Television station — Tuesday, September 10th at 9:30pm. For more about the 50-year history of the station’s extraordinary programming, visit