Interview with Violette Verdy, 1969Additional title: Selma Jeanne Cohen Papers of Dance Perspectives
NamesVerdy, Violette, 1933- (Interviewee)Cohen, Selma Jeanne, 1920-2005 (Interviewer)
Dance Audio Archive
Dates / OriginDate Created: 1969-01-23
Library locationsJerome Robbins Dance DivisionShelf locator: *MGZTCO 3-3303
TopicsVerdy, Violette, 1933-Balanchine, GeorgeRobbins, JeromeDances at a gathering (Choreographic work : Robbins)Giselle (Choreographic work)Sylphide (Choreographic work)
NotesVenue: Recorded by Selma Jeanne Cohen for an article in Opera News: vol. 34, no. 25, April 18, 1970. Possibly separated from the Selma Jeanne Cohen Papers of Dance Perspectives (S)*MGZMD 56 : open to the public. January 23, 1969. New York (N.Y.)Funding: The conservation and cataloging of this recording was made possible in part by the Barbara Goldsmith Conservation Division of the New York Public Library as well as 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.Citation/reference: Possibly separated from the Selma Jeanne Cohen Papers of Dance Perspectives (S)*MGZMD 56.Content: Streaming file 1 (approximately 53 minutes). [Begins abruptly.] Violette Verdy speaks with Selma Jeanne Cohen about preparing for a role, beginning with the technique and the music; working with Balanchine as contrasted with working with Roland Petit; how dancing for Balanchine has enhanced her appreciation of the classic ballets like The sleeping beauty; learning the role of Giselle beginning with her first Giselle, for Ballet Rambert; her technical weaknesses; learning an abstract role in a Balanchine ballet as compared with learning a dramatic role; various aspects of performing including the danger of self-caricature; Jerome Robbins and his ballet Dances at a gathering, including his working methods; Birgit Cullberg's and Roland Petit's respective approaches to the theatrical aspects of dance; Balanchine as completely occupied with dance as dance and the music; the different categories of Balanchine's ballets ranging from the symphony ballets to the very modern; which categories she feels best suit her; his Liebeslieder Walzer; working with Balanchine, in particular the choreographic liberties he sometimes allows her; more on the role of Giselle, including how her having come to the role at a relatively late age affected her approach.Content: Streaming file 2 (approximately 20 minutes). Violette Verdy continues to speak with Selma Jeanne Cohen about Giselle including the eternal feminine truths that her character embodies; her interpretation of the character [of Aurora] in The sleeping beauty; the dramatic confusion inherent in Swan lake; comedy including her wish to do more comic roles; the role of the Sylph in La sylphide including her interpretation of the Sylph's character; the technical challenges; films of her performances.
Physical DescriptionAudiocassetteExtent: 1 audiocassette (approximately 1 hr., 3 min.) : polyester; quarter-trackSound quality is good. There is significant ambient noise as well as some "tape hiss" and occasional short gaps. However, the speakers' voices are easily audible.
DescriptionInterview with Violette Verdy conducted by Selma Jeanne Cohen in New York City on January 23, 1969, possibly as the basis for an article in Opera News: vol. 34, no. 25, April 18, 1970.
Type of ResourceSound recording
IdentifiersRLIN/OCLC: 906946255NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b20596173Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): a531cfb0-b8bb-0133-79e2-60f81dd2b63c
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