Interview with Oliver Smith, 1975

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Interview with Oliver Smith, 1975
Smith, Oliver Lemuel, 1918-1994 (Interviewee)
Gruen, John (Interviewer)

Dance Audio Archive

Dates / Origin
Date Created: 1975-09-17
Library locations
Jerome Robbins Dance Division
Shelf locator: *MGZTC 3-643 (former)
Smith, Oliver Lemuel, 1918-1994
American Ballet Theatre
City Center of Music and Drama (New York, N. Y.)
Manhattan Center (New York, N.Y.)
Theaters -- New York (State) -- New York
Content: Title supplied by cataloger.
Venue: Recorded by John Gruen 1975, September 17 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 Description
Extent: 1 audiocassette (approximately 1 hr., 6 min.) : quarter-track; 1.875 ips.
Sound quality is fair. The recording is marred by extraneous noise including "tape hiss" and occasional short gaps. However, the speakers' voices are easily intelligible.
Interview with Oliver Smith conducted by John Gruen on September 17,1975 at the Manhattan Center in New York City, as research for an article in The New York Times. It is not clear if an article based on this interview was actually published. Streaming file 1 (approximately 48 minutes). Oliver Smith speaks with John Gruen about American Ballet Theatre's need for a permanent base in New York City, including the reasons City Center [of Music and Drama] and the New York State Theater [now the David H. Koch Theater] do not meet this need; the plan to create such a permanent home in the Manhattan Center building; Smith's hope that other companies now dancing at City Center (Alvin Ailey Dance Theater and the Joffrey Ballet) will also make the new theater their home; the problems with City Center as a venue for classical ballet; the plans for and estimated cost of rebuilding the interior of the Manhattan Center building; his ideas for financing the construction; allocating stage time among the resident companies; the current status of the project; the lack of reciprocity shown by visiting foreign ballet companies to American Ballet Theatre; Sol Hurok [ends abruptly but continues on streaming file 2]. Streaming file 2 (approximately 18 minutes). Oliver Smith continues to speak with John Gruen about the plans to create a permanent home for American Ballet Theatre in the Manhattan Center building; his hope that regional and overseas companies (dance and music) would also perform at the new theater; his ideas for the physical appearance of the theater; the possibility of using the interior as a television studio for filming dance and concerts; the location, at 8th Avenue and 34th Street [ends abruptly].
Type of Resource
Sound recording
RLIN/OCLC: 82708437
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b12118460
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): cca67ab0-3158-0132-e69d-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

  • 1918: Creator Born
  • 1975: Created
  • 1994: Creator Died
  • 2024: Found by you!
  • 2025

MLA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Interview with Oliver Smith" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1975.

Chicago/Turabian Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Interview with Oliver Smith" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 29, 2024.

APA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. (1975). Interview with Oliver Smith Retrieved from

Wikipedia Citation

<ref name=NYPL>{{cite web | url= | title= (sound recording) Interview with Oliver Smith, (1975)|author=Digital Collections, The New York Public Library |accessdate=February 29, 2024 |publisher=The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations}}</ref>

Interview with Oliver Smith