Interview with Fayard Nicholas
NamesBalanchine, George (Choreographer)Nicholas, Fayard (Interviewee)Hill, Constance Valis (Interviewer)George Balanchine Foundation (Host)
Dates / OriginDate Created: 2001-01-12
Table of ContentsDisc 1 (ca. 41 min.). Fayard Nicholas of the Nicholas Brothers discusses his memories and working with George Balanchine during the Broadway production of Babes in Arms; about Dan Dailey being in the show and also being a Hollywood star for 20th Century Fox; first meeting Balanchine when performing in Ziegfeld follies of 1936; performing a number with Josephine Baker and how unhappy she was about the white male ensemble not being allowed to lift her like in Paris; Nicholas Brothers choreographing their own steps for Ziegfeld follies of 1936; story of performing at Shubert Theater in Boston when they had multiple encores and the stage manager tried to get the audience to stop by opening curtain with Fanny Brice on stage but audience kept applauding so Brice just had to watch them dance in front of her for several more encores; first hearing about and meeting Balanchine; working with Balanchine in Babes in arms rehearsal for the first time when creating dance for Johnny one-note; remembering Balanchine staging the dream sequence, Peter's journey with Duke McHale; Johnny Pierce being the tap choreographer and assistant to Balanchine; about the All dark people is light on their feet number which his mother made him change to All dark people are light on their feet; looking at rehearsal scene photographs with tap chorus line and Egyptian ballet (tap number); Constance Valis Hill reading the intro text and lyrics to Johnny one-note; where the Egyptian number came in the scene; looking at more photographs of Johnny one-note; description of the Egyptian ballet with the accumulation of the ballet girls as the Nicholas Brother jumped and cartwheeled over them and landed in the splits which they continues to use in other routines; the Egyptian number with the girls also being performed at the Roxy Theatre; Valis Hill playing the music for Johnny one-note.Disc 2 (35 min.). Continuation of the Johnny one-note music with text; watching home movies off camera of Act 2 finale, Johnny one-note dance, scene of rehearsal for Lee Calhoun's follies, and the Act 2 finale with time step; Babes in arms being the Nicholas Brothers first acting roles on Broadway; being good friends with the entire cast; Balanchine being pleased with their performances; Betty Bruce attending lots of performances as Mitzi Green's friend and praising the Nicholas Brothers; Balanchine telling them what to do in dance but having them create the actual movements; the director Nick Castle asking them to do movies; looking at the remaining photographs of Babes in arms which include Johnny Pierce on stilts and with Mitzi Green and Ray Heatherton; talking about the score and the possibility of reconstructing the dances; the ending of Act I with the curtain coming down while singer is still performing and lowering his head; Nicholas never seeing Balanchine again after Babes in arms; performing in Babes in arms and then going to Cotten Club to perform each night; getting nicknames of Moe and Little Moe from the ticket broker on street after they left theater and asking them, "Hello Moe, what do ya' know?"; and Nicholas' final thoughts on Balanchine.
Library locationsJerome Robbins Dance DivisionShelf locator: *MGZIDVD 5-7315
TopicsBalanchine, GeorgeNicholas, FayardNicholas, HaroldDailey, Dan, 1914-1978Baker, Josephine, 1906-1975Bruce, BettyGreen, Mitzi, 1920-1969Castle, NickPierce, JohnnyNicholas BrothersTap dancingAfrican Americans in musical theaterBabes in armsDuke, Vernon, 1903-1969. Ziegfeld follies of 1936
NotesStatement of responsibility: interviewed by Constance Valis Hill ; [presented by] The George Balanchine Foundation.Content: This interview relates to the Popular Balancine dossiers (Box 14. Babes in Arms) (1937) [Dance Division call number: *MGZMD 146, box 14], compiled by Constance Valis Hill. Inventory, overview by Constance Valis Hill, background materials, programs (originals and photocopies), notices and reviews (photocopies of printed sources and typed compilation of press commentary), photographs (digital scans, prints, and photocopies), and transcripts of interviews with Georgia Hiden, Marjorie Jane, Fayard Nicholas, Gedda Petry, and Jay Pevney. Also includes annotated conductor's score (dance numbers only), playscript, and original souvenir program.Performers: Interviewee, Fayard Nicholas and Katherine Hopkins-Nicholas (wife); interviewer, Constance Valis Hill.Venue: Videotaped during an interview at the Balanchine Foundation, New York, N.Y., on Jan. 12, 2001.Original version: Original format: 2 DV-CAM cassettes.Acquisition: Gift; George Balanchine Foundation. NN-PD
Physical DescriptionVideocassetteExtent: 2 videocassettes (DVCam) (76 min.) : sound, color ; 1/4 in.
Type of ResourceMoving image
IdentifiersNYPL catalog ID (B-number): b19683036Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): f31a94c0-f746-0130-77db-3c075448cc4b
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