Interview with Ian Horvath, 1979
NamesHorvath, Ian (Interviewee)Conway, Peter (Interviewer)
Dance Oral History Project
Dates / OriginDate Created: 1979-02-08Date Created: 1979-02-09
Library locationsJerome Robbins Dance DivisionShelf locator: *MGZTO 5-703
TopicsJoffrey, RobertHaney, CarolTudor, Antony, 1908-1987Feld, EliotArpino, GeraldChase, Lucia, 1897-1986Smith, Oliver Lemuel, 1918-1994Goldman, Sherwin MStyne, Jule, 1905-1994. Funny girlStyne, Jule, 1905-1994. Fade out, fade inNahat, DennisRobbins, JeromeHorvath, IanAmerican Ballet TheatreJoffrey BalletGame of Noah (Choreographic work : Tetley)Noces (Choreographic work : Robbins)
NotesAdditional physical form: For transcript of interview, see *MGZMT 5-703.Source characteristics: Sound quality is good overall. The recording is marred by occasional extraneous noise and short gaps.Bibliographic history: Title supplied by cataloger.Venue: Recorded by Peter Conway for The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts 1979, February 8 and 9 New York (N.Y.)Funding: The processing 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 DescriptionAudiotape reelExtent: 2 audiotape reels (approximately 4 hr., 40 min.) ; polyester; half-track; 1.875 ips; 5 in.
DescriptionStreaming audio file 1, February 8, 1979 (approximately 52 minutes). Ian Horvath speaks with Peter Conway about his early training in Cleveland, Ohio; his experience as a dancer in the musical comedy Funny girl including his memories of Carol Haney, Jerome Robbins, and Sydney Chaplin; the musical comedy Fade out, fade in; Julius Styne; studying with Leon Danielian; his time at the Joffrey Ballet School and Joffrey Ballet including his impressions of Robert Joffrey; his very different reactions to performances he saw of New York City Ballet and of the Royal Ballet including his thoughts on Frederick Ashton's choreography; the impact of seeing, for the first time, works by Agnes de Mille and Jerome Robbins performed by American Ballet Theatre; his admiration for George Balanchine's choreography; Margot Fonteyn as a dancer and why Ashton's choreography suited her; the roles of the Prodigal son and of Apollo [ends abruptly but continues directly on streaming audio file 2].
Streaming audio file 2 (approximately 45 minutes). Ian Horvath speaks with Peter Conway about his reasons for not studying at the School of American Ballet; the impact of seeing Antony Tudor's work Pillar of fire performed by Sally Wilson at American Ballet Theatre; his adverse reaction to Birgit Culberg's Miss Julie and Harald Lander's Etudes; Antony Tudor's choreography; Gerald Arpino as a choreographer including his working methods; leaving the Joffrey Ballet; working with Ruthanna Boris on her Cakewalk (at the Joffrey Ballet); dancing in George Balanchine's Scotch symphony; Lotte Goslar; Glen Tetley's Game of Noah; Goslar's work Charivari and Arpino's work The clowns; other works in the Joffrey Ballet repertoire; Lisa Bradley including dancing with her in Arpino's Incubus; Anna Sokolow; the poor morale of the dancers and the company protests that erupted during rehearsals of Arpino's Olympics and Joffrey's Gamelan [ends abruptly but continues on streaming audio file 3].
Streaming audio file 3, February 8 and 9, 1979 (approximately 52 minutes). Ian Horvath speaks with Peter Conway about Robert Joffrey including Joffrey as a choreographer; more on Gerald Arpino; the circumstances of his leaving the Joffrey Ballet; Dennis Nahat including Horvath's and Nahat's relationship [February 8 session ends at approximately 18:05; the February 9 session begins at approximately 18:07]. Horvath speaks with Conway about his experience as the lead [Colas] in La fille mal gardée; the circumstances of his joining American Ballet Theatre; his experience with Jerome Robbins' Les noces including the rehearsals; other choreographers with whom he worked including Harald Lander; a performance anecdote about Lander's Etudes; his first time dancing in Giselle including an anecdote about Dmitri Romanoff; Antony Tudor including how he conducted rehearsals; Hugh Laing [ends abruptly but continues directly on streaming file 4].
Streaming audio file 4 (approximately 45 minutes). Ian Horvath speaks with Peter Conway about his time with American Ballet Theatre including the emphasis on theater over dance; more on Hugh Laing; Antony Tudor including his relationship with Lucia Chase; the difficulties surrounding the revival of Tudor's ballet Undertow; Tudor as a person and as a choreographer including his working style; different productions of Jerome Robbins' Les noces; the Royal Ballet's production of Bronislava Nijinska's Les noces; Glen Tetley and his ballet Harbinger; Kenneth MacMillan's ballets Concerto and Danses concertantes; Lynn Seymour; the roles of regisseur and ballet master; learning the repertory as well as other aspects of performing from other dancers as the normal practice at American Ballet Theatre [session continues on streaming audio file 5].
Streaming audio file 5 (approximately 52 minutes). Ian Horvath speaks with Peter Conway about Eliot Feld and his ballet At midnight including his working method; Christine Sarry; his first solo role at American Ballet Theatre, in Jerome Robbins' Fancy free; his personal and professional relationship with Robbins; Dennis Nahat's joining American Ballet Theatre; the tensions Robbins caused with his casting decisions and Lucia Chase's role as peace-maker; the revival of Robbins' ballet Interplay; dancing in Les sylphides; Lucia Chase as artistic director of American Ballet Theatre, in particular her theatrical sensibility and her weaknesses; Oliver Smith and his role in the direction of the company; more on Chase as director of the company; Sherwin Goldman and his role in improving the terms of employment for the dancers [ends abruptly but continues on streaming audio file 6].
Streaming audio file 6 (approximately 34 minutes). Ian Horvath speaks with Peter Conway about Sherwin Goldman and his role in improving the dancers' working conditions at American Ballet Theatre; his feeling that the rules under the union contracts have become too restrictive; the effect of the star system on the company including the dancers' lack of interest in character dancing and theatricality; more on Lucia Chase's management style; his thoughts on New York City Ballet and the School of American Ballet; his opinions regarding the teachers of company class and coaches at American Ballet Theatre; Edward Caton as a teacher.
Type of ResourceMoving image
IdentifiersRLIN/OCLC: 84971024NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b12118549Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): fb6dbd20-e412-0135-6b64-111829bee029
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