Interview with Jean Erdman, December 21, 1978
NamesErdman, Jean (Interviewee)Small, Linda (Interviewer)
Dance Oral History Project
Dates / OriginDate Created: 1978-12-21
Library locationsJerome Robbins Dance DivisionShelf locator: *MGZT 5-588 (former)
TopicsCampbell, Joseph, 1904-1987Graham, MarthaErdman, JeanTheater of the Open EyeMartha Graham Dance CompanyCoach with the six insides (Choreographic work : Erdman, J)Letter to the world (Choreographic work : Graham)
NotesContent: Interview with Jean Erdman conducted by Linda Small on December 21, 1978 at the Theater of the Open Eye in the Church of the Holy Trinity in New York City for The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Jerome Robbins Dance Division Oral History Project.Bibliographic history: Title supplied by cataloger.Source characteristics: Sound quality is good overall. There is extraneous noise including a tapping noise, but the speakers' voices are easily intelligible.Venue: Recorded for The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts December 21, 1978 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.
Physical DescriptionAudiotape reelExtent: 1 audiotape reel (approximately 1 hr., 38 min.); 5"; polyester; half-track; 1.875 ips
DescriptionStreaming file (approximately one hour and 38 minutes). Jean Erdman speaks with Linda Small about the Theater of the Open Eye including the origins of its name and the nature of the Theater's repertory; her early dance experiences; her first impressions of Martha Graham; becoming a member of the company [Martha Graham Dance Company]; some of her first roles; Erick Hawkins and the changes in Graham's style after he entered the company; Louis Horst and his lecture-demonstrations; Graham as a teacher of her own choreography; Graham's Letter to the world, in particular Erdman's role [One who speaks]; her relationship with Graham outside of the studio; her husband, Joseph Campbell, including the story of their meeting at Sarah Lawrence College; the influence of Asian dance on modern dance; her first impressions of the company after she joined; more on changes in the company and Graham's style after Hawkins became a member; her feelings upon seeing the company after she had left; working with Merce Cunningham and John Cage [primarily in 1942]; leaving the company, studying other kinds of dance, and teaching; her approach to movement training; her first independent choreography including The perilous chapel and Sea deep [: a dreamy drama]; her first solo concerts; her solo tour in Japan and India including the warm public response; The coach with six insides including how she came to base a work on James Joyce's Finnegan's wake and her thoughts on working with actors; her experience as the choreographer for Joseph Papp's 1971 production of Two gentlemen from Verona.
Type of ResourceSound recording
IdentifiersRLIN/OCLC: 82279666 NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b12118409Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): b9fe5d00-b2aa-0133-e989-60f81dd2b63c
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