Interviews with Fred Berk and Sima Mittman, 1978Additional title: Interview with Sima MittmanAdditional title: Interview with Fred Berk
NamesBerk, Fred, 1911-1980 (Interviewee)Ingber, Judith Brin (Interviewer)Mittman, Sima (Interviewee)
Dance Audio Archive
Dates / OriginDate Created: 1978-04
Library locationsJerome Robbins Dance DivisionShelf locator: *MGZTCO 3-1275 [Cassette]
TopicsHarris, GaryDelakova, KatyaBird, BonnieKolodney, WilliamWiener, HattieKadman, GuritHolm, Hanya, 1893-1992Wallmann, Margarethe, 1904-1992Berk, Fred, 1911-1980Mittman, SimaNew York Public Library. Dance Collection92nd Street Y (New York, N.Y.)Holiday in Israel (Choreographic work : Berk)Folk dancing -- IsraelJewish refugeesFolk dancersJewish dance
NotesContent: Title supplied by cataloger.Venue: Recorded by Judith Brin Inger 1978, April 3-7, New York CityFunding: 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, Judith Brin Ingber
Physical DescriptionAudiocassetteExtent: 5 audiocassettes (approximately 6 hr., 10 min.) : quarter-track; 1.875 ips.Sound quality is fair. The recording is marred by "tape hiss," and the speakers' voices are often soft. In addition, there are occasional short gaps.
DescriptionInterview with Fred Berk (streaming files 1-8) and interview with Sima Mittman (streaming file 4 only) conducted by Judith Brin Ingber on April 3-7, 1978 in New York City; the interviews were conducted as part of her research in writing Fred Berk's biography entitled Victory dances: the life of Fred Berk.
Streaming files 1-2, April 3, 1978 (approximately one hour and 35 minutes). Fred Berk speaks with Judith Brin Ingber about dancing despite illness; leaving his job at the 92nd Street Y; working with lighting designer Gary Harris; his first experiences teaching Israeli folk dance; his dance Holiday in Israel; Bonnie Bird's direction of the Merry-Go-Rounders; working under Dr. William Kolodney at the 92nd Street Y; choreographing his dances, Song of the ghetto and The desert will bloom again; his dance partnership with fellow-refugee Katya Delakova [later, his wife]; performing with Claudia Vall Kauffman; escaping German-occupied countries during the 1930s; living as a refugee in England.
Streaming file 3, April 3, 1978 (approximately 47 minutes). Fred Berk speaks with Judith Brin Ingber about emigrating to Cuba; costume designer Hattie Wiener; restarting Hebraica Dancers; his childhood relationship with his father; discovering his emotional ties to Judaism; Bob Fosse's Dancin'; folk dancers Gurit Kadman and Else Dublon; collecting actors' and singers' autographs as a child; his first impressions of ballet.
Streaming file 4, April 6, 1978 (approximately 40 minutes). [The first approximate 31 minutes of the recording is a continuation of the interview with Fred Berk; the remaining approximate eight minutes contains an interview with Sima Mittman.] Fred Berk speaks with Judith Brin Inger about the surgery on his leg; the difficulties faced by German Jews with United States immigration during World War II; his first awareness of his arthritis; his first night in the United States; moving to Colorado; taking a summer course with Hanya Holm. [At approximately 31:10 minutes, the interview with Sima Mittman begins.] Sima Mittman speaks with Judith Brin Ingber about the Education Department at the 92nd Street Y; William Kolodney; working with Fred Berk.
Streaming files 5-6, April 7, 1978 (approximately one hour and 34 minutes). Fred Berk speaks with Judith Brin Ingber about working under Dr. William Kolodney; the dance he choreographed to poems by [Hayyim Nahman] Bialik; the Hebraica programs; instilling a sense of professionalism in his dancers; creating the Israeli Folk Dance Workshop at Camp Blue Star; organizing New York City's Israel Folk Dance festival; leaving the Merry-Go-Rounders; initiating the concert series, Around the World in Dance; performing in Cuba's Pro Arte Musical; teaching Israeli dance at Brooklyn College; returning to Vienna to claim his inheritance; donating his dance archive to the Dance Collection [now the Jerome Robbins Dance Division] of the New York Public Library; meeting with Genevieve Oswald; creating an index of Jewish dance materials at the Dance Collection; seeking to define "Jewish dance."
Streaming files, 7 -8, April 7, 1978 (approximately one hour and 34 minutes). Fred Berk speaks with Judith Brin Ingber about teaching dance to teenagers in Vienna; anti-Semitism in Vienna and Dresden in the 1930s; performing at the Austrian embassy in Amsterdam in 1936; working despite illness; being recognized as the founder of the Israeli Folk Dance Workshop; Margarethe Wallmann; politics of the contemporary folk dance scene in Israel; Tirtsa Hodes; various Jewish dance historians and ethnologists.
Type of ResourceSound recording
IdentifiersRLIN/OCLC: 39896551NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b13796591Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): c70c51b0-b3d7-0133-a916-3c07547a230f
Rights StatementThe 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.
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