Interview with Stanley Holden, 1978

More Details Cite This Item

Library division & collection with this item:

View this item elsewhere:

Interview with Stanley Holden, 1978
Holden, Stanley (Interviewee)
Tobias, Tobi (Interviewer)

Dance Oral History Project

Dates / Origin
Date Created: 1978-11-24 - 1978-11-25
Place: Brooklyn, New York
Library locations
Jerome Robbins Dance Division
Shelf locator: *MGZTCO 3-1008
Chaplin, Charlie, 1889-1977
Cranko, John
De Valois, Ninette, 1898-2001
Ashton, Frederick, Sir, 1904-1988
Holden, Stanley -- Interviews
Sadler's Wells Ballet
Royal Ballet
Fille mal gardée (Choreographic work : Ashton)
Enigma variations (Choreographic work : Ashton)
Mademoiselle Angot (Choreographic work : Massine)
Coppélia (Choreographic work : De Valois and Sergeev, N after Cecchetti, Ivanov and Petipa)
Male dancers
Oral histories
Additional physical form: For transcript of interview see: *MGZMT 3-1008.
Content: Interview with Stanley Holden conducted by Tobi Tobias on November 24 and 25, 1978 in Brooklyn, New York, backstage at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, for the Oral History Project of the Jerome Robbins Dance Division of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.
Bibliographic history: Title supplied by cataloger.
Source note: Sound quality is good. The recording is marred by occasional extraneous noise.
Date: Recorded by Tobi Tobias 1978, November 24 and 25 Brooklyn (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 Description
Extent: 2 audiocassettes (approximately 4 hr.) : analog, 1.875 ips, quarter-track, mono
Streaming file 1, November 24, 1978 (approximately 46 minutes). Stanley Holden speaks with Tobi Tobias about meeting Charlie Chaplin and his admiration for him as an artist; his family and his childhood; his name change, from Waller to Holden; on being a character dancer; choreographing; his tap dancing classes; his children; ballet lessons and the stigma at that time of being a male ballet dancer. Streaming file 2, November 24 and 25, 1978 (approximately 47 minutes). Stanley Holden speaks with Tobi Tobias about preparing for the RAD [Royal Academy of Dance] examinations; more on the difficulty of being a male dancer at the time; seeing his first ballet, Frederick Ashton's Façade; joining the Sadler's Wells Ballet [later the Royal Ballet]; Ninette de Valois as a person and as an artist and director [at approximately 27:46 minutes, the November 24 session ends, and the first November 25 session begins]; partnering; preparing for and developing a role, for example the Widow Simone in [Frederick Ashton's] La fille mal gardée and Dr. Coppélius in Coppélia. Streaming file 3, November 25, 1978 (approximately 39 minutes). Stanley Holden speaks with Tobi Tobias about his approach to travesty roles, for example, the Widow Simone; Robert Helpmann in [Ninette de Valois'] The prospect before us; more on the role of Dr. Coppélius; his career at the Sadler's Wells Ballet/ Royal Ballet including interruptions for military service and injury; John Cranko, as an artist and as a person, including an anecdote about his revue Cranks. Streaming file 4, November 25, 1978 (approximately 46 minutes.) Stanley Holden speaks with Tobi Tobias about the role of the Widow Simone in La fille mal gardée; working with Frederick Ashton including the difficulty of taking on a role created on another dancer, for example Bottom [created on Alexander Grant] in Dream; Ashton's Enigma variations and his working methods; Ashton as a person; the role of the Chief of Police in Leonide Massine's Mademoiselle Angot; touring with the Sadler's Wells Theatre Ballet; the different atmosphere in different theaters; the nature of character dancing and why it is so difficult to teach; more on his interpretation of Dr. Coppélius [ends abruptly].
Type of Resource
Sound recording
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b12118903
RLIN/OCLC: 80535918
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 435d3240-b311-0133-2c41-3c07547a230f
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

  • 1978: Created (Approximate)
  • 2019: Digitized
  • 2023: Found by you!
  • 2024

MLA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Interview with Stanley Holden" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1978 - 1978.

Chicago/Turabian Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Interview with Stanley Holden" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed November 30, 2023.

APA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. (1978 - 1978). Interview with Stanley Holden Retrieved from

Wikipedia Citation

<ref name=NYPL>{{cite web | url= | title= (sound recording) Interview with Stanley Holden, (1978 - 1978)|author=Digital Collections, The New York Public Library |accessdate=November 30, 2023 |publisher=The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations}}</ref>

Interview  with Stanley Holden