Interview with Melissa Hayden, 1978

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Interview with Melissa Hayden, 1978
Additional title: Ballet Beat (Radio program)
Hayden, Melissa (Interviewee)
Kaptzan, Kyra Lynn (Interviewer)

Dance Audio Archive

Dates / Origin
Date Created: 1978-07-16
Library locations
Jerome Robbins Dance Division
Shelf locator: *MGZTCO 3-1968 [sound cassette]
Balanchine, George
Chaplin, Charlie, 1889-1977
Magallanes, Nicholas
Hayden, Melissa
American Ballet Theatre
New York City Ballet
Dance in motion pictures, television, etc
Radio programs
Content: Title supplied by cataloger.
Venue: Recorded for the program Ballet Beat on WNYU-FM 1978, July 16 New York (N.Y.)
Funding: The conservation 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.
Acquisition: Gift; Kyra Lynn Kaptzan. NN-PD
Physical Description
Extent: 2 audiocassettes (1 hr., 19 min.) : quarter-track; 1.875 ips.
Sound quality is good.
Interview with Melissa Hayden conducted by Kyra Lynn Kaptzan on July 16, 1978 for the radio program Ballet Beat on WNYU-FM, and broadcast on October 3 and 10, 1978. Streaming audio file 1 (approximately 32 minutes). Melissa Hayden speaks with Kyra Lynn Kaptzan about first discovering dance in books; developing her athletic ability by swimming; her first dance classes; having seen the Original Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo as the inspiration to become a dancer; moving to New York City and joining the corps de ballet at Radio City Music Hall at the suggestion of Anatole Chujoy; auditioning for the Ballet Russe; the circumstances of her joining the corps of Ballet Theatre [now American Ballet Theatre]; her first soloist roles with Ballet Theatre, including the bird in Peter and the Wolf; her admiration for Nora Kaye's dancing and Alicia Alonso's Giselle; performing in Agnes de Mille's musical comedy Allegro and Michael Kidd's Love life during the period Ballet Theatre was closed; touring with Alicia Alonso's company [Ballet Alicia Alonso] in Havana, Cuba, and South America, including in such ballets as Les sylphides, Giselle, and Pas de quatre; reasons she greatly values having experienced this tour; the circumstances of her returning to the U.S. and joining Ballet Society, including Nicholas Magallanes' role in this; her admiration for George Balanchine's choreography, including Serenade and Symphony in C; her great desire to dance for Balanchine [gap]; the motion picture, The turning point. Streaming audio file 2 (approximately 19 minutes). Melissa Hayden speaks with Kyra Lynn Kaptzan about joining New York City Ballet as a soloist, the term for principal dancer at the time; the differing backgrounds of the soloists; works in which she danced, including Balanchine's Concerto barocco and The four temperaments as well as roles created by Todd Bolender and William Dollar; how roles were taught, including her classes with Balanchine; performing with André Eglevsky in the motion picture Limelight, including working with Charles Chaplin; the experience of seeing herself on film; the reasons she left New York City Ballet and re-joined Ballet Theatre. Streaming audio file 3 (approximately 28 minutes). Melissa Hayden speaks with Kyra Lynn Kaptzan about dancing with Ballet Theatre, first in Europe and then in the U.S.; finding the roles less challenging than the roles she danced in Balanchine's works; meeting her husband; returning to New York City Ballet; dancing as a guest artist with various companies; her partners; concert performances outside of New York City; favorite roles, including Swan lake and Giselle; her love of Balanchine's choreography; her regret that she never danced in the Rubies section of Jewels; the significance to the dance world of the School of American Ballet; her new dance school in New York City; her career during the four years she was away from New York City, including her experience an artist-in-residence at Skidmore College where she created a dance program; reasons for leaving Skidmore College, to direct a small company in Seattle, Washington; returning to New York City; her family.
Type of Resource
Sound recording
RLIN/OCLC: 231319384
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b16854445
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): b9fdbfd0-c366-0133-64ef-60f81dd2b63c
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

  • 1978: Created
  • 2018: Digitized
  • 2024: Found by you!
  • 2025

MLA Format

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

Chicago/Turabian Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Interview with Melissa Hayden" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 2, 2024.

APA Format

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

Wikipedia Citation

<ref name=NYPL>{{cite web | url= | title= (sound recording) Interview with Melissa Hayden, (1978)|author=Digital Collections, The New York Public Library |accessdate=March 2, 2024 |publisher=The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations}}</ref>

Interview with Melissa Hayden