Interview with Louis Johnson
NamesBalanchine, George (Choreographer)Johnson, Louis, 1930- (Interviewee)DeFrantz, Thomas (Interviewer)Caines, Christopher (Videographer)George Balanchine Foundation (Presenter)
Dates / OriginDate Created: 2001-08-16
Table of ContentsDisc 1 (41 min.). Louis Johnson discusses performing in the Broadway show House of Flowers; his dance background, being raised in Washington D.C., taking classes on scholarship at the Doris Jones - Clara Haywood School of Dance; The School setting up an audition for Johnson and Chita Rivera where both got into the School of American Ballet (SAB) in New York; studying at SAB; performing in his first Broadway show, Four saints in three acts; attending the Katherine Dunham Dance School; about the House of flowers cast and production; the audition process since he was already dancing at SAB; Geoffrey Holder bringing his musicians that drummed for rehearsals; Marlene Dietrich attending rehearsals and helping out; how many dancers from this show he already knew; celebrities that attended the Katherine Dunham School of Dance; rehearsals with George Balanchine and what Johnson was asked to do; a photograph of the Cockfight scene choreographed by Balanchine with Johnson and Walter Nicks as the cocks; photograph from the Cockfight scene with Johnson identifying the dancers; Cockfight scene stayed the same after Herbert Ross took over except the focus was on the duet with Carmen De Lavallade and Alvin Ailey; the Two ladies in the shade number with brief description of the scene and staging; Geoffrey Holder choreographed his own number which stayed in both versions of the show; the Turtle number and how the turtle was created; the Voudou number; when the dancers rehearsed after Ross took over in Philadelphia; the Madame Tango's tango number and how it was originally in the second act and was then moved to the first act after Ross took over; and a talk about the procession to the Cockfight scene with the song Smellin' of vanilla (Bamboo cage). |||| Disc 2 (27 min.). Thomas DeFrantz playing the number Smellin' of vanilla from the Cockfight scene (Bamboo cage); Johnson talks about the interview he gave that showed a clip of House of flowers; the transition between Balanchine and Ross; Balanchine's concern about the company when he left; Balanchine's staging in Waitin'; DeFrantz plays Waitin' and they talk about the scene; about Pearl Bailey not having much staging and being allowed to do her own thing; working with Balanchine; DeFrantz playing Two ladies in the shade with a talk about the number and about throwing the girls in the air; Johnson talking about Balanchine having fun while choreographing this show; Johnson's memories and what he enjoyed about the show and working with Balanchine; and concludes with Johnson talking about looking for some of his photographs from this show.
Library locationsJerome Robbins Dance DivisionShelf locator: *MGZIDVD 5-7309
TopicsBalanchine, GeorgeJohnson, Louis, 1930-Bailey, PearlRoss, Herbert, 1927-2001Katherine Dunham School of Arts and ResearchArlen, Harold, 1905-1986. House of flowersMusicals
NotesVenue: Videotaped during an interview at the Balanchine Foundation, New York, N.Y., on Aug. 16, 2001.Acquisition: Gift; George Balanchine Foundation. NN-PD
Physical DescriptionVideocassetteExtent: 2 videocassettes (DVCam) (68 min.) : sound, color ; 1/4 in.
Type of ResourceMoving image
IdentifiersNYPL catalog ID (B-number): b19683021Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 8f36daf0-f79a-0130-f667-3c075448cc4b
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