Interview with Janet Reed, May 19 and 25, 1978

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Interview with Janet Reed, May 19 and 25, 1978
Reed, Janet, 1916-2000 (Interviewee)
Tobias, Tobi (Interviewer)

Dance Oral History Project

Dates / Origin
Date Created: 1978-05
Library locations
Jerome Robbins Dance Division
Shelf locator: *MGZT 5-387 (former)
Loring, Eugene, 1911-1982
Tudor, Antony, 1908-1987
Kaye, Nora, 1920-1987
Chase, Lucia, 1897-1986
Eglevsky, André
Balanchine, George
Reed, Janet, 1916-2000 -- Interviews
American Ballet Theatre
Dance Players (Company)
Interplay (Choreographic work : Robbins)
City portrait (Choreographic work : Loring)
Pillar of fire (Choreographic work : Tudor)
Oral histories
Bibliographic history: Title supplied by cataloger.
Source characteristics: Sound quality is fair. There is extraneous noise including "tape hiss" and occasional short gaps. However, the speakers' voices are easily intelligible.
Venue: Recorded for The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts 1978, May 19 and 25 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.
Physical Description
Audiotape reel
Extent: 1 audiotape reel (approximately 3 hours) : analog, 1.875 ips, half-track, polyester; 5 in.
Streaming file 1, May 19, 1978 (approximately one hour and 36 minutes). [Begins abruptly.] Janet Reed speaks with Tobi Tobias about her early dance training; being inspired to become a ballerina after seeing Alexandra Danilova; her impressions of Ballet russe [de Monte Carlo]; audiences, in New York City and elsewhere; studying and later working with William Christensen in San Francisco; dancing Odile in Swan lake and Swanilda in Coppélia; dancing in workshop productions of Balanchine's Concerto barocco in New York; leaving San Francisco and joining Eugene Loring's company, Dance Players; the company's repertoire including its focus on Americana and contemporary themes, as for example, in Loring's Prairie and in his City portrait; Loring's work Billy the Kid, in particular reasons it has endured; dancers and acting including her admiration for Balanchine's skill as an actor; working with Antony Tudor on her role as the younger sister in his ballet Pillar of fire; a anecdote about Nora Kaye in the role of the older sister; discussion [including Tobias's comments on her own experience] of Tudor including his outspokenness and his working methods; her sense that each choreographer has viewed her differently; working with Balanchine; her desire to surprise and delight the audience; the various aspects of creating a ballet company including her experience with Pacific Northwest Ballet; Balanchine's enormous influence on choreographers; Eugene Loring including his working methods; working with Jerome Robbins; becoming a guest artist and then a member of Ballet Theatre [later American Ballet Theatre]; some of her roles; touring with Ballet Theatre during World War II including the repertoire and the hardships of life on tour. Streaming file 2, May 25, 1978 (approximately one hour and 24 minutes). Janet Reed speaks with Tobi Tobias about Jerome Robbins' ballet Interplay including her interpretation of the pas de deux; Lucia Chase as a person, as a company director, and as a dancer, and Sol Hurok's relationship with Ballet Theatre; Nora Kaye including her astute management of her career; Agnes de Mille including her choreographing of Tally ho on Reed; the union [American Guild of Musical Artists] at Ballet Theatre; an anecdote about Balanchine helping her rehearse her roles in Petrouchka and in the Bluebird variation; Ballet Theatre's use of film to re-stage [Leonide] Massine's ballets; discussion of ballet on film; her memories of André Eglevsky; memories of New York City Ballet at City Center [City Center of Music and Drama], including the audiences; Bob [Robert] Gottlieb; reminiscences about Balanchine's Western symphony; the fact that, at the time, Balanchine did not consider most the students at the School of the American Ballet ready to dance in the company, including an anecdote about Suzanne Farrell; discussion of the [1977] motion picture The turning point; Reed's husband including how they met.
Type of Resource
Sound recording
RLIN/OCLC: 50934431
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b12118212
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 718039e0-b2a5-0133-b299-60f81dd2b63c
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

  • 1916: Creator Born
  • 1978: Created
  • 2000: Creator Died
  • 2022: Found by you!
  • 2023

MLA Format

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

Chicago/Turabian Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Interview with Janet Reed" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed December 5, 2022.

APA Format

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

Wikipedia Citation

<ref name=NYPL>{{cite web | url= | title= (sound recording) Interview with Janet Reed, (1978)|author=Digital Collections, The New York Public Library |accessdate=December 5, 2022 |publisher=The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations}}</ref>

Interview with Janet Reed