Interview with Erik Bruhn, part 14

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Interview with Erik Bruhn, part 14
Bruhn, Erik, 1928-1986 (Interviewee)
Gruen, John (Interviewer)

Dance Audio Archive

Dates / Origin
Date Created: 1977-09-29
Library locations
Jerome Robbins Dance Division
Shelf locator: *MGZTC 3-763 (former)
Bruhn, Erik, 1928-1986
Fonteyn, Margot, 1919-1991
Folkesagn (Choreographic work : Bournonville)
Sylphide (Choreographic work : Bournonville)
Swan lake (Choreographic work : Bruhn)
Moor's pavane (Choreographic work : Limón)
Petrouchka (Choreographic work : Fokine)
Citation/reference: For edited transcript of this recording see: *MGZMT 3-763, reel 14.
Content: Title supplied by cataloger.
Venue: Recorded by John Gruen 1977, September 29 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.
Acquisition: Gift, John Gruen
Content: Streaming file 1 (approximately 46 minutes). Erik Bruhn speaks with John Gruen about his three farewell performances, before he was 26, with the Royal Danish Ballet [Kongelige Danske ballet] including an anecdote about King Frederick IX; his tendency even as a student to resist mere imitation, particularly in mime class; the fiasco of his debut as James in La sylphide followed by his success in London; coaching dancers including Fernando [Bujones] and Ivan [Nagy] in the role at ABT [American Ballet Theatre]; teaching the role to Rudolf Nureyev; his interpretation of James; his interpretation of the Sylph; [August] Bournonville's ballet Folk tale [Folkesagn] in which he danced the Prince; returning to the Danish Royal Ballet in 1952 and becoming the target of politically-motivated criticism; the role of the Prince in The sleeping beauty; his own production of Swan lake for the National Ballet of Canada [ends abruptly].
Content: Streaming file 2 (approximately 42 minutes). Erik Bruhn speaks with John Gruen about his own production of Swan lake including as compared to a version choreographed by Rudolf Nureyev in 1964; his having changed the gender of Rothbart from male to female; the role of Albrecht in Giselle including his dancing it so frequently [with American Ballet Theatre] that it became stale; rediscovering the role with Yvette Chauviré; Margot Fonteyn including her partnership with Rudolf Nureyev and why he never danced with her; his interpretation of the Moor [in José Limón's The moor's pavane]; the role of Petrouchka, the Russian soul, and human suffering; stage make-up as part of becoming a character; his Coppélia, for the National Ballet of Canada.
Physical Description
Extent: 1 audiocassette (approximately 1 hr., 28 min.) : quarter-track; 1.875 ips.
Sound quality is good.
Interview with Erik Bruhn conducted by John Gruen as research for his book Erik Bruhn: danseur noble (1979), in New York, N,Y., on September 29, 1977. This is Part 14 of an 18-part series. However, there is no audio for parts 2 and 10, which are available only as edited transcripts.
Type of Resource
Sound recording
RLIN/OCLC: 922545349
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b12118576
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): fabddd00-c30c-0133-dd88-60f81dd2b63c
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

  • 1928: Creator Born
  • 1977: Created
  • 1986: Creator Died
  • 2018: Digitized
  • 2019: Found by you!
  • 2020

MLA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Interview with Erik Bruhn" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1977.

Chicago/Turabian Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Interview with Erik Bruhn" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed December 12, 2019.

APA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. (1977). Interview with Erik Bruhn Retrieved from

Wikipedia Citation

<ref name=NYPL>{{cite web | url= | title= (sound recording) Interview with Erik Bruhn, (1977) }} |author=Digital Collections, The New York Public Library |accessdate=December 12, 2019 |publisher=The New York Public Library, Astor, Lennox, and Tilden Foundation}}</ref>

Interview with Erik Bruhn