Interview with Stanley Zompakos
NamesBalanchine, George (Choreographer)Zompakos, Stanley (Interviewee)Reynolds, Nancy, 1938- (Interviewer)George Balanchine Foundation (Presenter)
Dates / OriginDate Created: 2001-02-16
Library locationsJerome Robbins Dance DivisionShelf locator: *MGZIDVD 5-7317
TopicsBalanchine, GeorgeZompakos, StanleyGansert, JackPopova, NinaHeath, Barbara, dancerMerry widow (Choreographic work)
NotesVenue: Videotaped during an interview at the Kansas City Ballet Studios, Kansas City, Mo., on Feb. 16, 2001.Acquisition: Gift; George Balanchine Foundation. NN-PD
Physical DescriptionVideocassetteExtent: 1 videocassette (VHS) (68 min.) : sound, color ; 1/2 in.
DescriptionStanley Zompakos speaks with Nancy Reynolds about The merry widow and working with George Balanchine; Reynolds asks Zompakos about his dance background and dancing at the School of American Ballet (SAB); Balanchine asking him to perform in The merry widow; Reynolds asks Zompakos if the 1943 and 1944 productions were the same; Reynolds also mentions that Zompakos was the assistant stage manager for the show; Zompakos learning most of the choreography by rehearsing with Balanchine's assistant, Bill [William] Dollar; about the tour to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle; how the show was not expected to become a hit; how the production was created New Opera Company which was founded by Yolanda Mero-Irian; how Balanchine was connected to the New Opera Company; productions that Balanchine choreographed; Zompakos being 17 years old when he joined this show; when Eddie Weston was drafted during war Zompakos became assistant stage manager due to his 4F military status for the draft; Zompakos speaks about the opening prologue number in Merry widow and the Broom dance (polka); Reynolds shows Zompakos a photograph of the Broom dance with Jack Gansert and Nina Popova; Zompakos describes the Act I finale with mingling and a couple waltzing as curtain comes down; Zompakos continues with discussion of the movement and staging for Act II including Vilia number, and the In Marsovia number; Reynolds plays the music for Act II begining with the opening with In Marsovia music and Maxim's (Girls, Girls, Girls) with June Graham and Babs Heath; discusses Babs Heath's career; ballet dancers not having many opportunities to perform back then; Zompakos speaks about leaving New York City Ballet to perform in Columbia Concert tour, starting a film company with his Brother-in-law in South Carolina, and then teaching at Kansas City Ballet; Zompakos speaks about the Gold and Silver number being the dance highlight; about the waltz costumes worn; Balanchine moving scenery off stage to make more room for dancers; some of the entrances and pantomime used in this section; Reynolds shows Zompakos a xerox of photograph with costumes and photographs of Babs Heath & Jack Gansert and Milada Mladova; also publicity photographs are shown of performers including Lubow Roudenko, Alex[andra] Alexander, Melville Cooper, Jan Kiepura, Marta Eggerth, Etheleyne Holt, and possibly Lisette Verea; Reynolds plays music from Gold and Silver while Zompakos describies stage movements of couples and waltzing; Dollar working with him on his waltzing; Reynolds shows Zompakos photocopies of Girls in Can Can outfits and from souviner book; Zompakos speaks about opening scene in Act III in Maximes restaurant and the opening steps performed by Roudenko with other girls joining in; Reynolds plays music from Act III while Zompakos speaks about the movement the girls are performing; not recognizing the original music because Robert Stoltz changed it; and concludes with Reynolds thanking him for the interview.
Type of ResourceMoving image
IdentifiersNYPL catalog ID (B-number): b19683801Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 19697400-f79b-0130-73c7-3c075448cc4b
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