Interview with Stanley Zompakos

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Interview with Stanley Zompakos

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Interview with Stanley Zompakos
Balanchine, George (Choreographer)
Zompakos, Stanley (Interviewee)
Reynolds, Nancy, 1938- (Interviewer)
George Balanchine Foundation (Presenter)

Popular Balanchine

Dates / Origin
Date Created: 2001-02-16
Library locations
Jerome Robbins Dance Division
Shelf locator: *MGZIDVD 5-7317
Balanchine, George
Zompakos, Stanley
Gansert, Jack
Popova, Nina
Heath, Barbara, dancer
Merry widow (Choreographic work)
Venue: Videotaped during an interview at the Kansas City Ballet Studios, Kansas City, Mo., on Feb. 16, 2001.
Acquisition: Gift; George Balanchine Foundation. NN-PD
Physical Description
Extent: 1 videocassette (VHS) (68 min.) : sound, color ; 1/2 in.
Stanley Zompakos speaks with Nancy Reynolds about The merry widow and working with George Balanchine; Reynolds asks Zompakos about his dance background and dancing at the School of American Ballet (SAB); Balanchine asking him to perform in The merry widow; Reynolds asks Zompakos if the 1943 and 1944 productions were the same; Reynolds also mentions that Zompakos was the assistant stage manager for the show; Zompakos learning most of the choreography by rehearsing with Balanchine's assistant, Bill [William] Dollar; about the tour to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle; how the show was not expected to become a hit; how the production was created New Opera Company which was founded by Yolanda Mero-Irian; how Balanchine was connected to the New Opera Company; productions that Balanchine choreographed; Zompakos being 17 years old when he joined this show; when Eddie Weston was drafted during war Zompakos became assistant stage manager due to his 4F military status for the draft; Zompakos speaks about the opening prologue number in Merry widow and the Broom dance (polka); Reynolds shows Zompakos a photograph of the Broom dance with Jack Gansert and Nina Popova; Zompakos describes the Act I finale with mingling and a couple waltzing as curtain comes down; Zompakos continues with discussion of the movement and staging for Act II including Vilia number, and the In Marsovia number; Reynolds plays the music for Act II begining with the opening with In Marsovia music and Maxim's (Girls, Girls, Girls) with June Graham and Babs Heath; discusses Babs Heath's career; ballet dancers not having many opportunities to perform back then; Zompakos speaks about leaving New York City Ballet to perform in Columbia Concert tour, starting a film company with his Brother-in-law in South Carolina, and then teaching at Kansas City Ballet; Zompakos speaks about the Gold and Silver number being the dance highlight; about the waltz costumes worn; Balanchine moving scenery off stage to make more room for dancers; some of the entrances and pantomime used in this section; Reynolds shows Zompakos a xerox of photograph with costumes and photographs of Babs Heath & Jack Gansert and Milada Mladova; also publicity photographs are shown of performers including Lubow Roudenko, Alex[andra] Alexander, Melville Cooper, Jan Kiepura, Marta Eggerth, Etheleyne Holt, and possibly Lisette Verea; Reynolds plays music from Gold and Silver while Zompakos describies stage movements of couples and waltzing; Dollar working with him on his waltzing; Reynolds shows Zompakos photocopies of Girls in Can Can outfits and from souviner book; Zompakos speaks about opening scene in Act III in Maximes restaurant and the opening steps performed by Roudenko with other girls joining in; Reynolds plays music from Act III while Zompakos speaks about the movement the girls are performing; not recognizing the original music because Robert Stoltz changed it; and concludes with Reynolds thanking him for the interview.
Type of Resource
Moving image
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b19683801
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 19697400-f79b-0130-73c7-3c075448cc4b
Rights Statement
The copyright and related rights status of this item has been reviewed by The New York Public Library, but we were unable to make a conclusive determination as to the copyright status of the item. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use.

Item timeline of events

  • 2001: Created
  • 2018: Digitized
  • 2023: Found by you!
  • 2024

MLA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Interview with Stanley Zompakos" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 2001.

Chicago/Turabian Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Interview with Stanley Zompakos" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed June 3, 2023.

APA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. (2001). Interview with Stanley Zompakos Retrieved from

Wikipedia Citation

<ref name=NYPL>{{cite web | url= | title= (moving image) Interview with Stanley Zompakos, (2001)|author=Digital Collections, The New York Public Library |accessdate=June 3, 2023 |publisher=The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations}}</ref>

Interview with Stanley Zompakos