Interview with Rosella Hightower, 1975

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Interview with Rosella Hightower, 1975
Hightower, Rosella (Interviewee)
Kendall, Elizabeth, 1947- (Interviewer)

Dance Oral History Project

Dates / Origin
Date Created: 1975-04
Library locations
Jerome Robbins Dance Division
Shelf locator: *MGZTO 5-1516
Massine, Leonide, 1896-1979
Cuevas, George de, marquis, 1885-1961
Tudor, Antony, 1909-1987
Eglevsky, André
Nijinska, Bronislava, 1891-1972
Hightower, Rosella
American Ballet Theatre
Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo
Grand Ballet de Monte Carlo
Piège de lumière (Choreographic work : Taras)
Biches (Choreographic work : Nijinska)
Brahms variations (Choreographic work : Nijinska)
Oral histories
Source note: Interview with Rosella Hightower conducted by Elizabeth Kendall in April, 1975, in Cannes, France, for the Oral History Project of the Jerome Robbins Dance Division, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, New York (N.Y.).
Additional physical form: For transcript of interview see: *MGZMT 3-1516.
Bibliographic history: Title supplied by cataloger.
Source characteristics: Sound quality is fair to poor. The recording is marred by extraneous noise including "tape hiss." The extraneous noise is particularly loud and distracting in the first approximate 23 minutes of streaming file 2 as the speakers are apparently driving in a vehicle with open windows.
Venue: Recorded by Elizabeth Kendall April 1975 Cannes (France)
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 Description
Audiotape reel
Extent: 1 audiotape reel (approximately 2 hr., 23 min.) : polyester, half-track, 1.875 ips ; 5 in.
Streaming audio file 1 (approximately 52 minutes). [Ambient conversation, primarily in French.] Rosella Hightower speaks with Elizabeth Kendall about her early dance training and teacher Dorothy Perkins; meeting Leonide Massine and auditioning for him; traveling by boat to Monte Carlo to join the (newly-formed) Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in 1938; her initial status as an understudy; Frederic Franklin's help and support; some of her first solo roles; the outbreak of World War II while the company was in Paris; making their way to New York and going on tour; some of her roles including in Massine's The New Yorker, Beau Danube, and Boutique fantasque; her relationship with Massine; the forming of Ballet Theatre [later American Ballet Theatre]; leaving the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and joining Ballet Theatre; the nascent company's six-month stay at Jacob's Pillow; Antony Tudor and his choreographic process [ends abruptly but continues directly on streaming audio file 2]. Streaming audio file 2 (approximately 43 minutes). [The first approximate 20 seconds reiterates the final approximate 20 seconds of streaming audio file 1.] Rosella Hightower speaks with Elizabeth Kendall about her time at Ballet Theatre including works Michel Fokine created for the company; André Eglevsky including how he helped her develop her classical technique; Antony Tudor's Undertow; working with Tudor; the influence of the New York critics; her reasons for leaving Ballet Theatre; her first Giselle, with Anton Dolin; meeting the Marquis George de Cuevas and joining his new company [Grand Ballet de Monte Carlo; later the Ballet International de la Marquis de Cuevas; disbanded in 1962]; Bronislava Nijinska as a person and as a choreographer including her (inexplicable) antipathy to Jerome Robbins [ends abruptly but continues on streaming audio file 3]. Streaming audio file 3 (approximately 49 minutes). [Begins abruptly.] Rosella Hightower speaks with Elizabeth Kendall about working with Bronislava Nijinska on her roles in Nijinska's Les biches and Brahams variations; her time with the Grand Ballet de Monte Carlo; the Marquis Georges de Cuevas; John Taras' ballet Piège de lumière; Edward Caton's ballet Triptych; Nijinska's staging of HIghtower's parts in The sleeping beauty [Robert Helpmann after M. Petipa (from version by B. Nijinska and N. Sergeev)].
Type of Resource
Sound recording
RLIN/OCLC: 83693507
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b12119040
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 080b32e0-c801-0135-ec2d-21a0275b35ac
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

  • 1975: Created
  • 2019: Digitized
  • 2023: Found by you!
  • 2024

MLA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Interview with Rosella Hightower, 1975" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1975.

Chicago/Turabian Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Interview with Rosella Hightower, 1975" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed December 5, 2023.

APA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. (1975). Interview with Rosella Hightower, 1975 Retrieved from

Wikipedia Citation

<ref name=NYPL>{{cite web | url= | title= (sound recording) Interview with Rosella Hightower, 1975, (1975)|author=Digital Collections, The New York Public Library |accessdate=December 5, 2023 |publisher=The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations}}</ref>

Interview with Rosella Hightower, 1975