Interview with Nancy Knott Mann

More Details Cite This Item

Library division & collection with this item:

View this item elsewhere:

Interview with Nancy Knott Mann
Balanchine, George (Choreographer)
Mann, Nancy Knot (Interviewee)
Hunt, Marilyn, 1937- (Interviewer)
Reynolds, Nancy, 1938- (Videographer)
George Balanchine Foundation (Presenter)

Popular Balanchine

Dates / Origin
Date Created: 2000-12-08
Table of Contents
Disc 1 (41 min.). Nancy Knott Mann discusses performing in the Broadway shows, I married an angel and Louisiana Purchase; interview begins abruptly with close-up of photographs of her in Louisiana Purchase, in classical costume as Vera Zorina's double in Mardi Gras number, and I married an angel with Vera Zorina and Michael Mann at party; Knott Mann talks about her dance background with a scholarship to study with George Balanchine at ballet school in New York; dancing with Leonide Massine's Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo; Balanchine's disapproval of her leaving to dance with Massine; Balanchine still using her in shows but not in his company; auditioning for I married an angel at the Shubert Theater during the depression with lines of dancers and the police blocking off two streets; story of Dick Rodgers composing on the spot after Balanchine played what he was looking for on piano; Balanchine's reputation on Broadway; dancing with Boris Butleroff in Michel Fokine ballets and I married an angel; Balanchine not allowing her to audition for lead in touring production of Louisiana Purchase because she was a chorus girl; Vera Zorina's charming personality and how she sent her hair and make-up person down to her dressing room; how Balanchine's choreography was not finished at the opening tryout, and quickly creating the surrealistic dance; Knott Mann talks about the dancers in the show with her; Marilyn Hunt and Knott Mann look at the I married an angel program with photographs from the New York production and have a brief discussion of the Honeymoon ballet; Isabelle Kimball understudying Vera Zorina; Fokin making dancers suddenly fill-in for other roles without learning them; the costumes and movement for the Snow ballet and Night flight pas de deux. |||| Disc 2 (ca. 40 min.). Knott Mann watches the film and talks about the dancing in Louisiana Purchase (Mardi Gras scene with Creole number); about performing as the double for Vera Zorina with partner Charles Latsky for brief arabesque prominade while Zorina changed costumes; the two entrances, one with Zorina and ice skater, and the other with the sled dogs; looking at the Louisiana purchase program and talking about the dancers and the music; talking about the creole scene with all the dancers, ballet and tap on stage; listening to the music of Louisiana Purchase and talking about her memories of the Mardi Gras scene and Creole number; her husband, Michael Mann performing in Choclate soldier; leaving Broadway to perform duo act with her husband. |||| Disc 3 (12 min.). Knott Mann continues discussing her husbands performance in Choclate soldier, and watching the rehearsals; the day she had her son while her husband was rehearsing in theater; remembering the choreography to a solo from Balanchine's Reminiscence that she watched and learned; losing choreography and the difficulty recreating ballets; advancing the plot with Snow ballet in I married an angel and the Dream ballet in Louisiana Purchase; the lighting and moving sets on treadmills for the plane scene; accidents during performances including a grand piano falling and almost crushing someone; and concludes with a brief talk about Boris Butleroff's daughter being a choreographer.
Library locations
Jerome Robbins Dance Division
Shelf locator: *MGZIDVD 5-7303
Balanchine, George
Mann, Nancy Knot
Zorina, Vera
Massine, Leonide, 1896-1979
Fokine, Michel, 1880-1942
Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo
Musicals. I married an angel
Musicals. Louisiana Purchase
Content: This interview relates to the Popular Balancine dossiers (Box 15: I Married an Angel) (1938) [Dance Division call number: *MGZMD 146, Box 18, I married an angel], compiled by Marilyn Hunt. Inventory, overview by Marilyn Hunt, background materials (photocopies and typescripts of notes on original sources), programs (photocopies and originals), reviews (photocopies and typed compilation of press commentary), photographs (photocopies and digital scans of original clippings, photographs, and drawings, transcripts of interviews with Helen Butleroff, Nancy Knott, and Miles Kreuger, and production materials (includes photocopies of financial information). Also includes souvenir programs, playscript, piano-vocal score (partial) ; and Box 21: Louisiana Purchase (1940) [Dance Division call number: *MGZMD 146, Box 23, Louisiana Purchase], compiled by Marilyn Hunt. Inventory, overview by Marilyn Hunt, background materials (photocopies and typescript excerpt of published materials), programs (photocopies and originals), reviews, photographs (photocopies and digital scans), and transcripts of interviews with Dorothy Barrett, Hubert Bland, Carol Bruce, Mary Ganley, and Nancy Knott. Also includes photocopies of playscript, partial piano score, and three Al Hirschfeld drawings.
Venue: Videotaped during an interview at the Balanchine Foundation, New York, N.Y., on Dec. 8, 2000.
Acquisition: Gift; George Balanchine Foundation. NN-PD
Physical Description
Extent: 3 videocassettes (DVCam) (93 min.) : sound, color ; 1/4 in.
Type of Resource
Moving image
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b19683011
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): ae3d0dd0-f79a-0130-a086-3c075448cc4b
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

  • 2000: Created
  • 2018: Digitized
  • 2024: Found by you!
  • 2025

MLA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Interview with Nancy Knott Mann" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 2000.

Chicago/Turabian Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Interview with Nancy Knott Mann" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed June 13, 2024.

APA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. (2000). Interview with Nancy Knott Mann Retrieved from

Wikipedia Citation

<ref name=NYPL>{{cite web | url= | title= (moving image) Interview with Nancy Knott Mann, (2000)|author=Digital Collections, The New York Public Library |accessdate=June 13, 2024 |publisher=The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations}}</ref>

Interview with Nancy Knott Mann