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Interview with Alexis Dolinoff, 1979

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Title
Interview with Alexis Dolinoff, 1979
Names
Dolinoff, Alexis, 1904- (Interviewee)
Smith, Amanda (Interviewer)
Collection

Dance Oral History Project

Dates / Origin
Date Created: 1979-04-17
Date Created: 1979-05-19
Library locations
Jerome Robbins Dance Division
Shelf locator: *MGZTO 5-670
Topics
Cecchetti, Enrico, 1850-1928
Pavlova, Anna, 1881-1931
Dandré, Victor, -1944
Rubinstein, Ida, 1885?-1960
Nijinska, Bronislava, 1891-1972
Chalif, Louis Harvy, 1876-1948
Littlefield, Dorothie
Littlefield, Catherine
Caton, Edward, 1900-1981
Fokine, Michel, 1880-1942
Dolinoff, Alexis, 1904- -- Interviews
Teatr "Letuchai͡a myshʹ"
Philadelphia Ballet Company
Littlefield Ballet
Genres
Oral histories
Interviews
Notes
Additional physical form: For transcript of interview, see *MGZMT 5-670.
Source characteristics: Sound quality is good overall. The recording is marred by occasional extraneous noise and short gaps.
Bibliographic history: Title supplied by cataloger.
Venue: Recorded by Amanda Smith 1979, April 17 and May 19 New York (N.Y.)
Funding: The processing 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 Description
Audiotape reel
Extent: 2 audiotape reels (approximately 6 hr.) ; polyester; half-track; 1.875 ips; 5 in.
Description
Streaming audio file 1, April 17, 1979 (approximately 52 minutes). Alexis Dolinoff speaks with Amanda Smith about his childhood in Russia including seeing his first ballet, The sleeping beauty with Anna Pavlova; fleeing from the Russian Revolution; emigrating to England; life in England; his various attempts to become an actor and singer including his first stage appearance, in a Ballets russes production of Schéhérazade; how he came to be a dancer, initially with the Great Imperial Russian Ballet; taking class with [Enrico] Cecchetti; auditioning for Anna Pavlova and subsequently training with her [ends abruptly but continues directly on streaming audio file 2].Streaming audio file 2 (approximately 43 minutes). [The first few seconds reiterate the final few seconds of streaming audio file 1.] Alexis Dolinoff speaks with Amanda Smith about his life in England including the death of his father; dancing with Anna Pavlova's company in London and on tour; Anna Pavlova including her inimitable Dying swan; her excellent technique and even greater dramatic ability; Patricia Bowman including her excellent technique; Pavlova's turn-out; her personality; Nikita Balieff and the Chauve-Souris [Teatr "Letuchai︠a︡ myshʹ"]; his promotion to soloist; partnering Pavlova [ends abruptly but continues on streaming audio file 3].Streaming audio file 3 (approximately 52 minutes). Alexis Dolinoff speaks with Amanda Smith about touring with Anna Pavlova's company including the lavish lifestyle in South Africa; their audiences; Victor Dandré; Pavlova as a person including her thoughtfulness and concern for the company members; leaving the company in Australia and opening a school there; his difficult relationship with J. C. Williamson, Ltd.; more on Pavlova as a person; his regret at having left the company; Ida Rubinstein and her company's extravagant sets and costumes; touring with her company [ends abruptly but continues on streaming file 4].Streaming audio file 4 (approximately 43 minutes). Alexis Dolinoff speaks with Amanda Smith about dancing for Ida Rubinstein and her company including performance anecdotes and reminiscences about Rubinstein, Bronislava Nijinska, Leon Woizikowski, and others; Leonide Massine; how he would have joined the Ballets russes had it not been for Serge Diaghilev's untimely death.Streaming audio file 5, May 19, 1979 (approximately 52 minutes). Alexis Dolinoff speaks with Amanda Smith about his time with Ballets Nijinska including the origin of Patrick Healey-Kay's stage name, Anton Dolin; anecdotes about Bronislava Nijinska; Igor Youskevitch; Michel Fokine; Edward Caton including a performance anecdote; more on Fokine; briefly, Francis Poulenc and Igor Stravinsky; a long anecdote about Helen Bamburger [spelled phonetically], who was proclaimed by a medium to be the "spirit of Pavlova," and a competition at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, in Paris, in 1932 [under the auspices of "Concours de Chorégraphie en souvenir de Jean Börlin].Streaming audio file 6 (approximately 42 minutes). Alexis Dolinoff speaks with Amanda Smith about performing in the United States with the Chauve-Souris theater; his association with Caroline Littlefield and her daughters Dorothie, and Catherine Littlefield, and their company (known at different times as the Littlefield Ballet, the Philadelphia Ballet Company, and the ballet company of the Chicago Civic Opera) including anecdotes about the Littlefields and the company's European tour; the demise of the company; more on Catherine and Dorothie.Streaming audio file 7 (approximately 52 minutes). Alexis Dolinoff speaks with Amanda Smith about the Philadelphia Ballet Company and Catherine Littlefield including her husband Philip [Ludwell] Leidy; teaching, including at (Louis) Chalif's school in New York and at Merriel Abbott's school in Chicago, in particular his difficulties with Abbott as an employer; returning to teach at Chalif's school in New York; more on the Philadelphia Ballet Company's European tour; Dorothy and Catherie Littlefield as dancers including anecdotes [ends abruptly but continues directly on streaming audio file 8].Streaming audio file 8 (approximately 23 minutes). [The first few seconds reiterate the final few seconds of streaming audio file 7.] Alexis Dolinoff speaks with Amanda Smith about his experiences with the Littlefield sisters including performing at Lewisohn Stadium; Catherine Littlefield as a choreographer; Louis Chalif; anecdotes from his time in Australia.
Type of Resource
Sound recording
Languages
English
Identifiers
RLIN/OCLC: 83791871
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b12118485
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): edbf94b0-c803-0135-2e93-63293011d751
Rights Statement
The New York Public Library holds or manages the copyright(s) in this item. If you need information about reusing this item, please go to: http://nypl.org/permissions

Item timeline of events

  • 1979: Created (Approximate)
  • 2020: Digitized
  • 2020: Found by you!
  • 2021

MLA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Interview with Alexis Dolinoff, 1979" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1979 - 1979. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/35be2c30-3b72-0134-9cd7-60f81dd2b63c

Chicago/Turabian Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Interview with Alexis Dolinoff, 1979" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed December 5, 2020. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/35be2c30-3b72-0134-9cd7-60f81dd2b63c

APA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. (1979 - 1979). Interview with Alexis Dolinoff, 1979 Retrieved from https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/35be2c30-3b72-0134-9cd7-60f81dd2b63c

Wikipedia Citation

<ref name=NYPL>{{cite web | url=https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/35be2c30-3b72-0134-9cd7-60f81dd2b63c | title= (sound recording) Interview with Alexis Dolinoff, 1979, (1979 - 1979)|author=Digital Collections, The New York Public Library |accessdate=December 5, 2020 |publisher=The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations}}</ref>

Interview with Alexis Dolinoff, 1979