Interview with Isamu Noguchi, 1979
NamesNoguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988 (Interviewee)Tobias, Tobi (Interviewer)
Dance Oral History Project
Dates / OriginDate Created: 1979
Library locationsJerome Robbins Dance DivisionShelf locator: *MGZTCO 3-558
TopicsGraham, MarthaBalanchine, GeorgeGraham, Martha. FrontierGraham, Martha. Acrobats of GodGraham, Martha. Diversion of angelsGraham, Martha. Seraphic dialogueNoguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988 -- InterviewsHérodiade (Choreographic work : Graham)Orpheus (Choreographic work : Balanchine)Bells (Choreographic work : Page)Frontier (Choreographic work : Graham)Penitente (Choreographic work : Graham)Set designersGroup work in artSculptors
NotesCitation/reference: For transcript of interview, see *MGZMT 3-558.Content: Interview with Isamu Noguchi conducted by Tobi Tobias on January 17 and in February, 1979, at Noguchi's home and studio in Long Island City, New York, for the Oral History Project of the Jerome Robbins Dance Division of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.Source characteristics: Sound quality is good overall.Bibliographic history: Title supplied by cataloger.Venue: Recorded byTobi Tobias 1979, January 17 and February Long Island City 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 DescriptionAudiocassetteExtent: 2 audio cassettes (approximately 2 hr., 39 min.) ; quarter-track; 1.875 ips
DescriptionStreaming audio file 1, January 17, 1979 (approximately 46 minutes). Isamu Noguchi speaks with Tobi Tobias about Martha Graham, including their first meeting, through Ito Michio; his impressions of Graham including from his point of view as a sculptor; his two portrait heads of Graham including her criticism of the first one; their collaborations including: Chronicle; El penitente; and Frontier; Doris Humphrey and his sculpting of her head [ends abruptly but continues on streaming audio file 2].
Streaming audio file 2, January 17, 1979 (approximately 46 minutes). Isamu Noguchi talks about his collaboration with Ruth Page on her work Bells for the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo; more on his collaborating with Martha Graham including how effectively she communicated her ideas; her work Hérodiade; reasons he no longer designs for the theater [from approximately 21:30 to 22:30, the volume of the recording drops significantly]; his designs and Graham's use of space; the divergence in his and Graham's respective styles over the years; George Balanchine's ballet Orpheus; his collaboration on Graham's Cortege of eagles including reasons he found it unsatisfactory; Japanese gardens, the illusion of space, and the concept of leisure space; Graham's work Dark meadow [ends abruptly].
Streaming audio file 3, February, 1979 (approximately 48 minutes). Isamu Noguchi speaks with Tobi Tobias about George Balanchine's work Orpheus including revisions made to the set and costumes for the current revival; creating the set and costumes for the original production including the concepts behind his designs; his thoughts on the dancing in the current revival including [Mikhail] Baryshnikov's performance; his collaborations with Martha Graham on Diversion of angels, Circe, Acrobats of God, and Seraphic dialogue [ends abruptly but continues on streaming audio file 4].
Streaming audio file 4, February, 1979 (approximately 19 minutes). Isamu Noguchi speaks with Tobi Tobias about his collaboration with Martha Graham on Seraphic dialogue including the assistance of his friend Edison Throckmorton; her work Clytemnestra; his interest in transformations; the relationship between his dance-related work and his art as a whole.
Type of ResourceSound recording
IdentifiersRLIN/OCLC: 81722293NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b12118363Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): ec994990-78bd-0136-3559-04348a8f1584
Copyright Notice© The Noguchi Museum / ARS.
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.
Item timeline of events