Interview with Barbara Cole, August 13, 2014
NamesCole, Barbara, 1928- (Interviewee)Kraft, Susan, 1961- (Interviewer)
Dance Oral History Project
Dates / OriginDate Created: 2014-08-13
Library locationsJerome Robbins Dance DivisionShelf locator: *MGZMT 3-3063
TopicsCole, Barbara, 1928- -- InterviewsFranklin, Frederic, 1914-2013Balanchine, GeorgeDe Mille, AgnesTudor, Antony, 1908-1987Maule, MichaelPereyaslavec, ValentinaHammerstein, Oscar, II, 1895-1960. Oklahoma!Rodgers, Richard, 1902-1979. Oklahoma!Wright, Robert, 1914-2005. Song of NorwaySchool of American BalletWashington School of Ballet (Washington, D.C.)American Ballet TheatreBallet Arts (New York, N.Y.)Alvin Ailey American Dance CenterNeighborhood Playhouse (New York, N.Y.)Arena Stage (Organization : Washington, D.C.)Adelphi UniversityRomeo and Juliet (Choreographic work : Tudor)Dance teachersDance in motion pictures, television, etcBallet dancers
NotesBibliographic history: Title supplied by cataloger.Venue: Recorded for The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts August 13, 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 DescriptionBorn digitalExtent: 2 audio files (approximately 1 hr., 54 min.) : digital, stereo +transcript (81 leaves)
DescriptionStreaming audio file 1 (approximately 27 minutes). Barbara Cole speaks with Susan Kraft about her childhood and her studies at the Washington School of Ballet with the teachers Lisa Gardner and Mary Day during World War II; seeing the Ballet Russe perform in Washington, D.C. including her admiration of the dancers; taking a ballet class with Frederic Franklin; her experiences as an aspiring dancer in high school compared with those of todays young dancers; productions she danced in during high school; (briefly) moving to New York City after high school.
Streaming audio file 2 (approximately one hour and 27 minutes). Barbara Cole speaks with Susan Kraft about her first encounters with George Balanchine while studying at the School of American Ballet and his inviting her to be in the musical comedy Song of Norway; (briefly) dancing in Song of Norway and being drawn to ballet over acting; more about her impressions of Balanchine while dancing in Song of Norway; her maternal grandmother moving to New York from Georgia to live with her; (briefly) an anecdote about her paternal grandfather; taking classes with Agnes de Mille at Ballet Arts, which led to de Mille inviting her to be in Oklahoma!; (briefly) Antony Tudors class at Ballet Arts and his invitation to her to join Ballet Theatre [later American Ballet Theatre]; her good luck as a young dancer; De Milles response when she gave notice that she was leaving Oklahoma! to join ABT [American Ballet Theatre]; her life in New York City at the time including her salary and rent; (briefly) ballet classes and teachers while first dancing with ABT; Tudor as a rehearsal director, her role as Lady Capulet in his Romeo and Juliet, and her role as the mother in Giselle; more on her experiences at ABT, especially as a member of the corps de ballet and touring; leaving ABT and auditioning with Ruth Page [for the musical comedy Music in my heart]; her roles in Music in my heart; her brief appearances doing a butterfly dance at the Latin Quarter nightclub; dancing in an early television show, the Admiral Broadway Review, at the invitation of Jimmy [James] Starbuck; her television interview segment on NBC-TV Screen Magazine and the loss of the kinescope recordings of the show; more about her experiences working on Admiral Broadway Review; (briefly) going to Europe after production on the show ended in 1949; returning from Europe to the Washington, D.C. area to take advantage of opportunities that included acting with the Arena Stage and teaching at new branch schools of the Washington Ballet; meeting her future husband Sam Folsom who invited her to dance for a fund raiser on the Patuxent Naval Air Station; (briefly) several shows she choreographed in Washington, including the pageant Faith of our fathers; (briefly) Folsoms year as a pilot in the Korean War, and upon his return, marrying and moving to Laguna Beach, California; working with Michael Kidd in his ballet On stage; (briefly) other dancers and an anecdote about Jerome Robbins; moving every two years for Folsoms military assignments including the towns they lived in and her various experiences as she continued to teach ballet; living in Norway and her brief involvement with the Norwegian [National] Ballet [Norske Opera & Ballett]; Folsoms retirement from the military, his subsequent work with Pan Am [Pan American World Airways, Inc.], and the familys travels; (briefly) teaching at a school on Long Island (N.Y.) under André Eglevksy; beginning to teach at the Harkness Dance Center and the influence of the ballet teacher, Valentina Pereyaslavec; a brief anecdote about an article about her as a teacher at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center; more about teaching and her students, especially a period when she taught simultaneously at Adelphi University, the Ailey Center, and at Harkness; teaching for 35 years at the Neighborhood Playhouse and the range of student experiences there; a brief anecdote about setting the dream ballet from Oklahoma! on her students; performing in the dream ballet on another occasion as Laurey with Michael Maule as her partner; (briefly) speaks about her travel agency that she opened with the intention to assist dance companies; her activities as a volunteer in the Jerome Robbins Dance Division at the Library for the Performing Arts; her upcoming move to California and her grandchildren.
Type of ResourceSound recording
IdentifiersRLIN/OCLC: 950610080NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b20966635Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 1c8d7400-2c59-0136-cdf4-0bd5fcbb1971
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