Interview with Ethel Butler, 1977
NamesButler, Ethel (Interviewee)Kendall, Elizabeth, 1947- (Interviewer)
Dance Oral History Project
Dates / OriginDate Created: 1977-01-12
Library locationsJerome Robbins Dance DivisionShelf locator: *MGZTCO 3-426
TopicsGraham, MarthaHorst, LouisButler, Ethel -- InterviewsBennington College. School of the Dance, 1934-1942Martha Graham Dance CompanyEvery soul is a circus (Choreographic work : Graham)Modern dance -- Technique -- Graham
NotesAdditional physical form: For transcript of interview, see *MGZMT 3-426.Bibliographic history: Title supplied by cataloger.Source characteristics: Sound quality is fair. The recording is marred by extraneous noise and short gaps. Also, at times the speakers' voices are soft. However, for the most part the voices are easily intelligible.Venue: Recorded by Elizabeth Kendall 1977, January 12Funding: 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 DescriptionAudiocassetteExtent: 2 audio cassettes (approximately 2 hr., 15 min.); quarter track; 1.875 ips
DescriptionStreaming audio file 1 (approximately 46 minutes). Ethel Butler speaks with Elizabeth Kendall about her childhood including her early attempts at choreography; taking class at the Neighborhood Playhouse including the powerful impression Graham made on her; studying at the Neighborhood Playhouse and subsequently joining Graham's company [Martha Graham Dance Company]; Graham technique; her affinity for Graham's work; the early Graham repertoire including Primitive mysteries; Louis Horst; her harmonious relations with Horst, Graham, and the other members of the company; her first season with the company; Graham's work Celebration; working with Graham in Death and entrances; an anecdote about Horst and his entertaining the dancers at rehearsals [ends abruptly but continues on streaming audio file 2].
Streaming audio file 2 (approximately 46 minutes). Ethel Butler speaks with Elizabeth Kendall about Martha Graham's American provincials; Louis Horst's and Graham's influence on what she read; teaching, as Graham's assistant, at the Bennington College School of the Dance; (briefly) Erick Hawkins; her impressions of Merce Cunningham; Graham's works Frontier, Imperial gesture, and Horizons; Graham's good relationship with her production crew; other Graham works including Deep song and American documents; more on Graham technique [ends abruptly but continues on streaming audio file 3].
Streaming audio file 3 (approximately 43 minutes ). Ethel Butler speaks with Elizabeth Kendall about Graham technique including movements that are no longer taught; Graham's work Every soul is a circus including the symbolism with regard to Graham's relationship with Erick Hawkins; Graham's gift for satire; Merce Cunningham in El penitente; Louis Horst at rehearsals; Graham's working methods; her work Land be bright; the influence of Graham's family background on her Americana works; her reasons for leaving the company; her decision to retire from dancing; her thoughts on some more recent Graham works and on Graham's Greek period; her belief in the Graham technique.
Type of ResourceSound recording
IdentifiersRLIN/OCLC: 81359114NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b12118186Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): b8b9a8c0-c277-0135-de0d-0d546b88e270
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