Interview with Barbara Fallis, October 5 and December 11, 1978
NamesFallis, Barbara (Interviewee)Conway, Peter, 1929 July 18- (Interviewer)
Dance Oral History Project
Dates / OriginDate Created: 1978-10-05Date Created: 1978-12-11
Library locationsJerome Robbins Dance DivisionShelf locator: *MGZT 5-679 (former)Shelf locator: *MGZTO 5-679
TopicsFallis, Barbara -- InterviewsLawson, JoanChase, Lucia, 1897-1986Fokine, Michel, 1880-1942Nijinska, Bronislava, 1891-1972Feld, EliotAlonso, Alicia, 1921-Tudor, Antony, 1908-1987American Ballet TheatreNew York City BalletNew York School of BalletRomeo and Juliet (Choreographic work : Tudor)Ivesiana (Choreographic work : Balanchine)
NotesContent: Interview with Barbara Fallis conducted by Peter Conway on October 5 and December 11, 1978, in New York City for The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Jerome Robbins Dance Division Oral History Project.Bibliographic history: Title supplied by cataloger.Source characteristics: Sound quality is fair overall. The recording is marred by extraneous noise including "tape hiss" and occasional short gaps. On streaming file 1, at times (in particular from approximately 41:25 minutes through 1 hour into the file) the volume is very low with the result that the speakers' voices are not easily intelligible; increasing the volume of the media player greatly improves intelligibility. On streaming file 2, there is a bird or birds screeching almost continually.Venue: Recorded for The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts 1978, October 5 and December 11 New York (N.Y.)Funding: The conservation and cataloging of this recording was made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. The support of the National Endowment for the Arts is also gratefully acknowledged.
Physical DescriptionAudiotape reelExtent: 1 audiotape reel (approximately 3 hr., 13 min.) : analog, 1.875 ips, half-track, polyester; 5 in.
DescriptionStreaming file 1 (approximately one hour and 37 minutes), October 5, 1978. Barbara Fallis speaks with Peter Conway about her background and early training including her first teacher, Joan Lawson; becoming a student at the Vic-Wells Ballet school [now the Royal Ballet School], including her audition with Ninette de Valois and her teachers; her first roles at the Vic-Wells Ballet [now the Royal Ballet]; returning to the United States where she joined Ballet Theatre [now American Ballet Theatre] and studied with Anatole Vilzak; her years at Ballet Theatre [1941-1948] including her first roles; working with [Michel] Fokine; working with Antony Tudor and his ballet Pillar of fire; [from approximately 41:25 minutes into the streaming file through approximately 1 hour, the volume drops sharply; increasing the volume of the media player greatly improves the intelligibility of the speakers' voices]; other Tudor ballets in which she danced including Dim lustre and Romeo and Juliet; Sono Osato as Rosalind; her role of Calliope in George Balanchine's Apollo; Balanchine's Waltz academy; Tudor's Undertow; her impressions of Bronislava Nijinska, Lucia Chase, and Tamara Toumanova; performing in London with Ballet Theatre; her thoughts on her own dancing and her career; very briefly, more on Joan Lawson; her meeting, as a very young child, with Madame [Serafima Aleksandrovna] Astaf'eva.
Streaming file 2 (approximately one hour and 36 minutes), December 11, 1978. Barbara Fallis speaks with Peter Conway about Ninette de Valois; her time dancing with Alicia Alonso, primarily in Cuba [1948-1952]; returning to the United States with her husband, Richard Thomas, and child, where she and her husband joined New York City Ballet; her time at New York City Ballet [1952-1958] including her roles in: Balanchine's Western symphony, The nutcracker [after Ivanov], Ivesiana; Pas de dix, and Francois Moncion's part of Jeux d'enfants [a multi-part collaboration among Balanchine, Barbara Milberg, and Moncion]; her thoughts on costumes; other dancers in the company including Arthur Mitchell, Yvonne Mounsey, and Herbert Bliss; Moncion's Pastorale; Balanchine's Square dance; Patricia Wilde; Balanchine's relative lack of interest in working with Fallis; their reasons for leaving the company; touring with the couple Nora Kovach and Istvan Rabovsky, with Royes Alexander as her partner; her work in musical theater including The song of Norway with Duncan Noble; founding the New York School of Ballet with her husband and Eliot Feld and the subsequent formation of Feld's company; the break with Feld; Fallis and Thomas's founding of their own company, U.S. Terpsichore; her admiration and respect for Lucia Chase.
Type of ResourceSound recording
IdentifiersRLIN/OCLC: 79995536 NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b12118526Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): fb4de630-b30a-0133-bd2e-3c07547a230f
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