Interview with Helgi Tomasson, 1969Additional title: Selma Jeanne Cohen Papers of Dance Perspectives
NamesTomasson, Helgi, 1942- (Interviewee)Cohen, Selma Jeanne, 1920-2005 (Interviewer)
Dance Audio Archive
Dates / OriginDate Created: 1969-11-20
Library locationsJerome Robbins Dance DivisionShelf locator: *MGZTCO 3-3302
TopicsTomasson, Helgi, 1942-Male dancersBallet dancing for menBallet -- Competitions
NotesContent: Title supplied by cataloger.Venue: Recorded by Selma Jeanne Cohen for an article in Dance Perspectives no. 40, entitled The male image, published winter 1969 November 20, 1969. New York (N.Y.)Funding: The conservation and cataloging of this recording was made possible in part by the Barbara Goldsmith Preservation Division of The New York Public Library and 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: 1986Citation/reference: Separated from the Selma Jeanne Cohen Papers of Dance Perspectives (S)*MGZMD 56.Content: Streaming file 1 (approximately 31 minutes). Helgi Tomasson speaks with Selma Jeanne Cohen about the small size of the stage in dance venues as limiting technique; his training at the National Theater of Iceland and at the Royal Danish Ballet school; taking class on scholarship at the American School of Ballet; reminiscences of being teased as a boy because of his ballet dancing; the greater acceptance of male ballet dancers today; the advances in technique; reconciling the athleticism of ballet with its essential quality as an art; the Icelandic language; his son; the ballet competition in Moscow [the 1969 Moscow International Ballet Competition]; [ends abruptly].Content: Streaming file 2 (approximately 30 minutes). Helgi Tomasson speaks with Selma Jeanne Cohen about technique and partnering; the quality of weight or heaviness in a male dancer including the use of phrasing to achieve this; simplicity rather than mannerisms as a goal; more on the Moscow Competition including his impressions of his own performance and that of other dancers.Content: Streaming file 3 (approximately 34 minutes). Helgi Tomasson speaks with Selma Jeanne Cohen about Igor Youskevitch's opinion that typically Balanchine's choreography does not sufficiently contrast feminine and masculine dancing; his thoughts on [Birgit Cullberg's ballet] Miss Julie; his admiration for Erik Bruhn's ability to become someone else on stage; his musicality; his reliance on ad hoc motivations in dramatic roles; the cycle of school, dance classes, and work when he was a child in Iceland; the beauty of the Northern Lights.
Physical DescriptionAudiocassetteExtent: 2 audiocassettes (approximately 1 hr., 35 min.) : polyester; quarter-trackSound quality is fair to poor. There is extraneous noise including "tape hiss" and occasional short gaps. The speakers' voices are soft but usually intelligible.
DescriptionInterview with Helgi Tomasson conducted by Selma Jeanne Cohen on November 20, 1969 as the basis for an article entitled The male image in Dance Perspectives no. 40, published winter 1969.
Type of ResourceSound recording
IdentifiersRLIN/OCLC: 906822473NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b20595033Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 7291bf30-b8bb-0133-35c5-60f81dd2b63c
Rights StatementThe 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