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Five Evenings with American Dance Pioneers: Daniel Nagrin, Fifth Evening

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Five Evenings with American Dance Pioneers: Daniel Nagrin, Fifth Evening
Additional title: Recollections and Rare Films
Nagrin, Daniel (Speaker)
Hess, Susan (Host)
Hess, Susan (Project director)
Powell, Alan (American artist, contemporary) (Videographer)

Susan Hess Modern Dance Lecture Series Video Archive

Dates / Origin
Date Created: 1983-06-10
Table of Contents
Reel 1. Introduction (2 min.) / by Susan Hess -- Evening with Daniel Nagrin [beginning] (ends abruptly) (60 min.). |||| Reel 2. Evening with Daniel Nagrin [conclusion] (18 min.) -- Closing comments (3 min.) / by Susan Hess.
Library locations
Jerome Robbins Dance Division
Shelf locator: *MGZIDF 1467
Nagrin, Daniel
Lectures and lecturing -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia
Tamiris, Helen, 1905-1966
United States. Works Progress Administration (N.Y.)
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
Modern dance -- United States
Dance -- History -- 20th century
Dance teachers -- United States
Dance -- Study and teaching -- United States
Dance -- Technique
Content: Title from original video cassette label.
Venue: Videotaped during talk at Hess studio in Philadelphia, Pa. 1983 June 10.
Acquisition: Gift; Susan Hess; 2010.
Physical Description
Extent: 2 videocassettes (U-matic) (83 min.) : sound, color ; 3/4 in.
Reel 1 begins with Daniel Nagrin explaining that his talk will be about Helen Tamiris; introduction to the Tamiris film not shown on this video; original writings about modern dance and the pioneers and the absence of Tamiris in these writings; biography of Tamiris and the origins of the Neighboorhood Playhouse and the Met; describing early Tamiris concerts; quotes by John Martin to emphasize her individuality versus her appeal; talks about Group Theatre's use of confining techniques and the unnaturalness of confining techniques; relating social attitudes to Tamiris pieces; creating choreographic works for the WPA; Tamiris and Broadway; introduction to the Tamiris 1959 film; Tamiris' influence as a Jewish American in New York; The strangeness of America to Nagrin because of his upbringing and having parents that didn't speak proper English; the idiosyncratic style of Tamiris; how Nagrin doesn't teach technique in his dance classes; his Stanislavsky acting training and how it liberated him when Tamiris suggested to not separate his dance from his acting; dancing prospects including Dancers Repertory Theatre, Concert Dancers League and the beginning of Lincoln Center. Reel 2 continues with the idea of Lincoln Center Dance Company by Limon, Cunningham, Bettis, Sokolow, and Tamiris which didn't work out; dancers/choreographers influenced by Tamiris including Cliff Keuter, Phoebe Neville, Moody, and Elizabeth Keen; Nagrin talks about himself as a minor artist; Tamiris' lack of vanity; working on Broadway and her integrity; the difficulties with people in the show, Plain & Fancy; Nagrin talks about Tamiris' feelings of exclusion from the pioneers of dance; current performances of her works; her legacy; dance as a means to change the outlook on life; abstract art versus people relationships; and closing comment by Susan Hess.
Type of Resource
Moving image
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b20284971
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 2a10ba30-3136-0132-e59f-3c075448cc4b
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

  • 1983: Created
  • 2020: Found by you!
  • 2021

MLA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Five Evenings with American Dance Pioneers" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1983.

Chicago/Turabian Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Five Evenings with American Dance Pioneers" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed September 21, 2020.

APA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. (1983). Five Evenings with American Dance Pioneers Retrieved from

Wikipedia Citation

<ref name=NYPL>{{cite web | url= | title= (moving image) Five Evenings with American Dance Pioneers, (1983)|author=Digital Collections, The New York Public Library |accessdate=September 21, 2020 |publisher=The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations}}</ref>

Five Evenings with American Dance Pioneers