Interview with Igor Shvetzov, 1978

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Interview with Igor Shvetzov, 1978
Shvetzov, Igorʹ Aleksandrovich, 1904-1982 (Interviewee)
Heifetz, Jeanne (Interviewer)

Dance Oral History Project

Dates / Origin
Date Created: 1978-07-19
Library locations
Jerome Robbins Dance Division
Shelf locator: *MGZTO 5-937
Nijinska, Bronislava, 1891-1972
Shvetzov, Igorʹ Aleksandrovich, 1904-1982 -- Interviews
Spessivtzeva, Olga, 1895-1991
Ballets russes du Col. W. de Basil
Red poppy (Choreographic work : Shvetzov)
Concerto tragico (Choreographic work : Shvetzov)
Eternal struggle (Choreographic work : Shvetzov)
Oral histories
Additional physical form: For transcript of interview see: *MGZMT 5-937.
Source characteristics: Sound quality is fair to good. The recording is marred by occasional extraneous noise and short gaps.
Bibliographic history: Title supplied by cataloger.
Venue: Recorded by Jeanne Heifetz for The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts 1978, July 19 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 Description
Audiotape reel
Extent: 1 audiotape reel (approximately 2 hr., 39 min.) ; polyester; half-track; 1.875 ips; 5 in.
Streaming audio file 1 (approximately 52 minutes). Igor Shvetzov speaks with Jeanne Heifetz about male ballet dancers; (briefly) Paul Petroff; (briefly) Olga Spessivtzeva; his experience with Col. W. de Basil's company [Ballets russes du Col. W. de Basil; also known as the Original Ballet Russe of Col. W. de Basil] including his impressions of Col. W. de Basil; (very briefly) The blue light [Das blaue licht] and Leni Riefenstahl; Michel Fokine; more on his time in Berlin in connection with his work on The blue light; working with Bronislava Nijinska including some of his roles; Nijinska's working style; his professional activities after parting with Nijinska; mime in ballet; Alicia Alonso's production of Coppélia; his own choreography including the perceived influence of Martha Graham and modern dance in general; his work The eternal struggle including the cast; David Lichine including his The prodigal son; Lichine as a dancer; the Australian tour [with the Ballets russes du Col. W. de Basil]; more on The eternal struggle; his work The red poppy (created for the Ballet russe de Monte Carlo); Ruthanna Boris and her role in the Red poppy [ends abruptly but continues directly on streaming audio file 2]. Streaming audio file 2 (approximately 45 minutes). Igor Shvetzov speaks with Jeanne Heifetz about Ruthanna Boris's role in The red poppy; the musical comedy The vagabond king and Julia Harvath; an anecdote about how he became a United States citizen; his time in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil); Soviet dancers and choreographers today; his training in the (former) Soviet Union; his choreography while in Brazil including his works Moonlight sonata and the Bacchanale (fromTannhäuser); the artist Florence Martin; his works Concerto tragico and Contes d'un bouffon; his contribution to ballet in Brazil, in particular developing an audience; his work for the New York City Opera including for the operas Macbeth and Pique dame [Queen of Spades]; returning to Brazil to teach and stage ballets; his admiration of Jerome Robbins' and George Balanchine's work; his Pas de quatre; Lupe Serrano [ends abruptly but continues on streaming audio file 3]. Streaming audio file 3 (approximately 62 minutes). Igor Shvetzov speaks with Jeanne Heifetz about Lupe Serrano and forming a company with her as the premiere dancer; [Alicia] Markova; teaching at the American Ballet Theatre school and Lucia Chase; an anecdote about Mimi Paul; placement as the most important part of technique; regional ballet in the United States and in the (former) Soviet Union; his experience teaching and staging ballets in Japan; Olga Spessivtzeva and the beauty of her dancing; Anton Dolin; Markova as an actress; his thoughts on several dancers currently active including Peter Martins and Mikhail Baryshnikov; various pas de deux he has choreographed including his own version of Daphnis and Chlöe; [Rudolf] Nureyev in Martha Graham's choreography; the increasingly porous border between modern dance and ballet; his classes today; Felia Doubrovska; Hanya Holm; his view of modern dance today; reminiscences of Agrippina Vaganova, Olga Preobrajenska, and Michel Fokine.
Type of Resource
Sound recording
RLIN/OCLC: 83693705
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b12118809
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): c9add690-e422-0135-9d83-00954b46a526
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

  • 1904: Creator Born
  • 1978: Created
  • 1982: Creator Died
  • 2018: Digitized
  • 2022: Found by you!
  • 2023

MLA Format

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

Chicago/Turabian Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Interview with Igor Shvetzov, 1978" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 20, 2022.

APA Format

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

Wikipedia Citation

<ref name=NYPL>{{cite web | url= | title= (sound recording) Interview with Igor Shvetzov, 1978, (1978)|author=Digital Collections, The New York Public Library |accessdate=January 20, 2022 |publisher=The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations}}</ref>

Interview with Igor Shvetzov, 1978