Interview with Alwin Nikolais, 1978

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Interview with Alwin Nikolais, 1978

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Interview with Alwin Nikolais, 1978
Nikolais, Alwin (Interviewee)
Ingber, Judith Brin (Interviewer)

Dance Audio Archive

Dates / Origin
Date Created: 1978-11-04
Library locations
Jerome Robbins Dance Division
Shelf locator: *MGZMT 3-1275 [Transcript]
Shelf locator: *MGZTCO 3-1275 [Cassette]
Berk, Fred, 1911-1980
Nikolais, Alwin
Modern dance -- United States
Citation/reference: For transcript, see: *MGZMT 3-2134.
Content: Title supplied by cataloger.
Venue: Recorded by Judith Brin Ingber 1978, April New York City
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, Judith Brin Ingber
Physical Description
Extent: 1 audiocassette (approximately 42 min.) : quarter-track; 1.875 ips.
Sound quality is fair. Alwin Nikolais's voice is sometimes soft and difficult to understand. Also, the recording is marred by occasional extraneous noise and by slight "tape hiss."
Interview with Alwin Nikolais conducted by Judith Brin Ingber, in April 1978, in New York City, as part of her research in writing Fred Berk's biography entitled Victory dances: the life of Fred Berk. A third person is also present at times and contributes an occasional remark. Streaming file (approximately 42 minutes). Alwin Nikolais speaks with Judith Brin Ingber about Fred Berk and the modern dance world at the time [late 1940s and early 1950s], including when they might first have met, in Colorado; Nikolais's Fable of the donkey; Berk and Katya [Delakova] as performers; the major performance venues at the time including the Henry Street Playhouse and the 92nd Street Y; Berk's frequent appearances at the Henry Street Playhouse; the tendency of the 92nd Street Y to focus on the established modern dance companies; Berk as primarily a folk dancer and folk dance choreographer; Berk's relationship to the wider dance world; Nikolais's friendship with Berk and Delakova; various dance venues during this time; dance writing at the time including Dance Magazine and Doris Hering; Dance Observer; John Martin's dance writing as compared to that of Edwin Denby; Berk's skills as an organizer; the transitional, "in-between" nature of the period after World War II, both in the modern dance world and on Broadway; very generally, dance in the United States during World War II; the end of Martha Graham's career as a dancer; Nikolais's sense that change really began in 1950 and 1951.
Type of Resource
Sound recording
RLIN/OCLC: 39896546
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b13796596
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 65f753f0-c315-0133-486d-60f81dd2b63c
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
  • 2018: Digitized
  • 2021: Found by you!
  • 2022

MLA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Interview with Alwin Nikolais" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1978.

Chicago/Turabian Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Interview with Alwin Nikolais" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed October 20, 2021.

APA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. (1978). Interview with Alwin Nikolais Retrieved from

Wikipedia Citation

<ref name=NYPL>{{cite web | url= | title= (sound recording) Interview with Alwin Nikolais, (1978)|author=Digital Collections, The New York Public Library |accessdate=October 20, 2021 |publisher=The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations}}</ref>

Interview with Alwin Nikolais