Interview with Mary Skeaping, 1978
NamesSkeaping, Mary (Interviewee)Reiner, Susan (Interviewer)
Dance Oral History Project
Dates / OriginDate Created: 1978-11
Library locationsJerome Robbins Dance DivisionShelf locator: *MGZTCO 3-672
TopicsSkeaping, Mary -- InterviewsKungliga Baletten (Stockholm, Sweden)Giselle (Choreographic work : Coralli and Perrot)Swan lake (Choreographic work : Skeaping after Ivanov and Petipa, M)Cupid out of his humour (Choreographic work : Skeaping)
NotesAdditional physical form: For transcript of interview see: *MGZMT 3-672.Bibliographic history: Title supplied by cataloger.Source characteristics: Sound quality ranges from very poor to good. Streaming audio file 1 is difficult to understand, and streaming audio file 2 and 4 (first approximate 13 minutes) are almost completely unintelligible. Sound quality is good in streaming files 3, the latter part of 4, and 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. The recording also contains occasional short gaps.Venue: Recorded for The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts 1978Funding: 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: 5 audio cassettes (approximately 4 hr., 39 min.); quarter-track; 1.875 ips
DescriptionStreaming audio file 1 (approximately 33 minutes). [Sound quality is poor.] Mary Skeaping speaks with Susan Reiner about her childhood and family including her experiences during World War I and the death of her sister; her training in music; auditioning for Anna Pavlova [ends abruptly but continues on streaming audio file 2].
Streaming audio file 2 (approximately 30 minutes). [Mary Skeaping continues to speak with Susan Reiner about her life and career. However, due to poor sound quality, this streaming file is almost unintelligible.]
Streaming audio file 3 (approximately 32 minutes) Mary Skeaping speaks with Susan Reiner further about her childhood and family; music as an inspiration including how she uses music in her work; her experience with the Royal Swedish Ballet [Kungliga Baletten]; staging Swan lake [ends abruptly but continues on streaming audio file 4].
Streaming audio file 4 (approximately 32 minutes). [First approximate 13 minutes are poor sound quality.] Mary Skeaping speaks with Susan Reiner about staging Swan lake; her choreographic methods including examples [from the ballet Atis and Camilla?]; [ends abruptly but continues on streaming audio file 5].
Streaming audio file 5 (approximately 32 minutes). Mary Skeaping speaks with Susan Reiner further about her choreographic methods including examples [taken from her work Cupid out of his humour?]; the potential for learning as a major factor in determining whether to accept a job [ends abruptly but continues on streaming audio file 6].
Streaming audio file 6 (approximately 32 minutes). Mary Skeaping speaks with Susan Reiner about the events leading to her work in 18th century theater in Sweden; staging Cupid out of his humour at the Drottningholm Theatre on the occasion of Queen Elizabeth II's visit to Sweden; the importance of becoming an accomplished dancer in order to become a good choreographer, including her comments on John Cranko; ballet length including a tendency toward short ballets in England [ends abruptly but continues on streaming audio file 7].
Streaming audio file 7 (approximately 33 minutes). Mary Skeaping continues to speak with Susan Reiner about ballet length; Frederick Ashton as a dancer and as a choreographer including his natural musicality; his Cinderella; her long history with the ballet Giselle, including dancing in the ballet herself, with [Anna] Pavlova as Giselle; her memories of Olga Spessivtzeva's Giselle; the score, by Adolphe Adam including how it has been altered over the years; her production of Giselle [after Corelli and Perrot], for the Royal Swedish Ballet; her later productions which were increasingly closer to her original conception; her research on the original production including her discussions with [Tamara] Karsavina about the early Russian versions [ends abruptly but continues on streaming audio file 8].
Streaming audio file 8 (approximately 33 minutes). Mary Skeaping speaks with Susan Reiner about the production of Giselle she staged for the London Festival Ballet, including her dilemma regarding the solo set to [Ludwig] Minkus' music; the significance of the fugue in Act II; a historical anecdote about Nathalie Fitzjames and Giselle; Act I as a dance-drama, which functions as the basis for Act II; various questions raised by the libretto, including why the hunting party stops at Giselle's cottage [ends abruptly but continues on streaming audio file 9].
Streaming audio file 9 (approximately 22 minutes). Mary Skeaping speaks with Susan Reiner about her production of Giselle, for the London Festival Ballet; the question as to whether Giselle kills herself including Skeaping's belief that she does not; her conception of the Queen of the Wilis; Swan lake including [Marius] Petipa's later changes to the score; the woooden stage at Covent Garden.
Type of ResourceSound recording
IdentifiersRLIN/OCLC: 77658383NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b12118487Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): ad737a00-c254-0135-42f0-002f6d9ca79e
Rights StatementThe 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
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