Interview with Nancy Reynolds, March 5 and 7, 2014

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Interview with Nancy Reynolds, March 5 and 7, 2014
Reynolds, Nancy, 1938- (Interviewee)
Seibert, Brian (Interviewer)

Dance Oral History Project

Dates / Origin
Date Created: 2014-03-05
Date Created: 2014-03-07
Library locations
Jerome Robbins Dance Division
Shelf locator: *MGZMT 3-3332
Reynolds, Nancy, 1938-
Tallchief, Maria
Kent, Allegra
Kirstein, Lincoln, 1907-1996
Cohen, Selma Jeanne, 1920-2005
Balanchine, George
New York City Ballet
George Balanchine Foundation
Dance critics
Dance criticism
Ballet -- History -- Methodology
Oral histories
Bibliography: Material from the George Balanchine Foundation's Popular Balanchine, referred to in the interview, can be found in the Library's catalog under the title: Popular Balanchine collection.
Additional physical form: For transcript see *MGZMT 3-3332.
Source characteristics: Sound quality is excellent.
Bibliographic history: Title supplied by cataloger.
Venue: Recorded for the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts March 5 and 7, 2014 New York (N.Y.)
Funding: The creation 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
Born digital
Extent: 2 audio files (approximately 3 hr., 46 min.) : digital +transcript (146 leaves)
Streaming audio file 1, March 5, 2014 (approximately one hour and 53 minutes). Nancy Reynolds speaks with Brian Seibert about her childhood and early dance training including her teachers Tanaquil Le Clercq and Vera Nemchinova; taking class at the School of American Ballet while attending the Brearley School; studying Cecchetti technique at the Metropolitan Opera ballet school with Margaret Craske; becoming an apprentice and then a member of New York City Ballet; studying with Carmelita Maracci in California; Jacob's Pillow including the various companies and dancers she saw perform there; her first season at New York City Ballet after George Balanchine's return from Denmark, including her memories of Maria Tallchief, Allegra Kent, Melissa [Hayden], and Diana Adams; touring in Japan and Australia including the repertoire; other tours including some of her roles; performing at City Center [of Music and Drama] including her sense of being a pioneer; leaving her career as a dancer and going to college; her first job, at the Praeger publishing company; how this led to her editing of Lincoln Kirstein's Movement & metaphor: four centuries of ballet (1970) and her re-entry into the dance world; Kirstein as a person; the process of producing the book including working with Kirstein; other projects, involving Kirstein and New York City Ballet; her relationship with Kirstein including what he taught her about dance; Selma Jeanne Cohen and her influence on Reynolds as a teacher and mentor; being asked to write a book about New York City Ballet [Repertory in review: 40 years of the New York City Ballet (1977)]; the process of writing the book including interviews with Balanchine and the company dancers; her impressions of Patty (Patricia) McBride; dance writing at the time including the influence of Clive Barnes; an early aspiration to become a dance critic; what she looks for in dance criticism. Streaming file audio 2, March 7, 2014 (approximately one hour and 53 minutes). Nancy Reynolds speaks with Brian Seibert about dance criticism including how the field has broadened and developed over the years; the book entitled: Choreography by George Balanchine: a catalog of works (1983), including the difficulties in creating a definitive catalog of Balanchine's works; Balanchine's cooperation and interest in the book; reminiscences of Balanchine; The international encyclopedia of dance (1998) and Selma Jeanne Cohen; Reynold's and Malcolm McCormick's book entitled: No fixed points: dance in the twentieth century (2003) including the process of writing and producing it; the historic divide between ballet and modern dance; Lincoln Kirstein's views (and putative views) on modern and post-modern dance; the Balanchine video archives project [George Balanchine Foundation Video Archives] including the contributions of Maria Tallchief, Violette Verdy, and others; the experience of seeing Balanchine's ballets restaged for the project by dancers who had danced in them, for example Marie-Jeanne and Concerto barocco; other ballets Reynolds would like to document and the obstacles to doing so; writing as compared to filming with respect to dance preservation; watching New York City Ballet perform Balanchine's works in recent years including her admiration for Kyra Nichols, Sofiane Sylvie, and Tiler Peck; more generally, her thoughts on the state of the company today; seeing Balanchine's works performed by other companies; more on the difficulties of documenting, in film, a comprehensive catalog of Balanchine's works; the George Balanchine Foundation's Popular Balanchine project including the difficulties presented by the frequent lack of credits and scarcity of visual materials.
Type of Resource
Sound recording
RLIN/OCLC: 1004239115
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b21354224
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 0478ffb0-c804-0135-b1c9-79858233d140
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

  • 2014: Created (Approximate)
  • 2019: Digitized
  • 2024: Found by you!
  • 2025

MLA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Interview with Nancy Reynolds" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 2014 - 2014.

Chicago/Turabian Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Interview with Nancy Reynolds" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed July 22, 2024.

APA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. (2014 - 2014). Interview with Nancy Reynolds Retrieved from

Wikipedia Citation

<ref name=NYPL>{{cite web | url= | title= (sound recording) Interview with Nancy Reynolds, (2014 - 2014)|author=Digital Collections, The New York Public Library |accessdate=July 22, 2024 |publisher=The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations}}</ref>

Interview with Nancy Reynolds