Interview with Sonia Arova, 1978
NamesArova, Sonia (Interviewee)Gruen, John (Interviewer)
Dance Audio Archive
Dates / OriginDate Created: 1978-03-17 - 1978-03-18
Library locationsJerome Robbins Dance DivisionShelf locator: *MGZTCO 3-765
TopicsNureyev, Rudolf, 1938-1993Bruhn, Erik, 1928-1986Lifar, Serge, 1905-1986Arova, SoniaSutowski, Thor
NotesContent: Title supplied by cataloger.Venue: Recorded by John Gruen 1978, March 17 and18 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.Acquisition: Gift John GruenContent: Streaming audio file 1, March 17, 1978 (approximately 47 minutes). John Gruen speaks very briefly about Sonia Arrova's long and close relationship with Erik Bruhn; Arova speaks with Gruen about the first time she saw Bruhn; her family background and early training with Olga Preobrajanska in Paris; meeting Serge Lifar and being selected to appear in the film Le mort de cygne; the outbreak of World War II and her escape to England; meeting Bruhn for the first time; dancing with him and watching him dance; returning to France when Bruhn returned to Denmark; working with Lifar and learning the repertory of the Paris Opera Ballet [Opéra de Paris Ballet]; dancing with the London Festival Ballet and the Marquis de Cuevas ballet [Grand Ballet de Monte Carlo]; coming to the United States to join Ballet Theatre [later American Ballet Theatre]; her relationship with Bruhn at this time; her time at Ballet Theatre including her roles in Giselle; reasons she ended her engagement to Bruhn [ends abruptly but continues on streaming audio file 2].Content: Streaming audio file 2 (approximately 47 minutes). Sonia Arova continues to speak with John Gruen about Erik Bruhn and their relationship; her trip to Denmark including meeting Bruhn's family and watching class at the Royal Danish Ballet [Kongelige Danske ballet]; her reasons for leaving Ballet Theatre; her [first] marriage and separation; Rudolf Nureyev, including first meeting him, in Paris; the developing friendship among Bruhn, Nureyev, and Arova; dancing with Bruhn, Nureyev, and Rosella Hightower in Europe [ends abruptly but continues on streaming audio file 3].Content: Streaming audio file 3, March 17 and 18, 1978 (approximately 47 minutes). Sonia Arova continues to speak with John Gruen about dancing with Bruhn and Nureyev including in the United States and Copenhagen; the death of Bruhn's mother; Bruhn's and Nureyev's relationship, including its emotional and artistic aspects [at approximately 34:20 minutes, the March 17 session ends, and the March 18 session begins]; Arova speaks with Gruen about dancing with Nureyev in his debut at the Brooklyn Academy of Music; dancing with Nureyev at the Royal Ballet in London; Bruhn's unhappiness in London [ends abruptly but continues on streaming audio file 4].Content: Streaming audio file 4, March 18, 1978 (approximately 47 minutes). Sonia Arova continues to speak with John Gruen about Erik Bruhn and Rudolf Nureyev during their time in London; dancing with Nureyev in Chicago for Ruth Page; her time in Australia on tour with Bruhn; dancing with Bruhn for the television program, The Bell Telephone hour; Thor Sutowski; becoming director of the Norwegian National Ballet [Norske Opera & Ballett]; her brief time as the director of the Hamburg Ballet [Hamburger Ballett]; moving to San Diego, California and becoming co-director with Sutowski of the San Diego Ballet; her illness and surgery in 1975; her feelings about Bruhn including their enduring friendship.
Physical DescriptionAudiocassetteExtent: 2 audiocassettes (approximately 3 hr., 8 min.) : quarter-track; 1.875 ipsSound quality is good overall. The recording is marred by occasional extraneous noise and short gaps, and John Gruen's voice is often very soft on streaming audio file 3.
DescriptionInterview with Sonia Arova conducted by John Gruen on March 17 and 18, 1978, in New York (N.Y.), as part of the research for John Gruen's book, Erik Bruhn: danseur noble (Viking Press, New York, 1979).
Type of ResourceSound recording
IdentifiersRLIN/OCLC: 78033521NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b12118597Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): b72ce2c0-7960-0136-ac67-01bce2238d96
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