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Interview with Frederic Franklin, Part 2 of 7: May 7 and May 8, 1979

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Interview with Frederic Franklin, Part 2 of 7: May 7 and May 8, 1979
Franklin, Frederic, 1914-2013 (Interviewee)
Conway, Peter, 1929 July 18- (Interviewer)

Dance Oral History Project

Dates / Origin
Date Created: 1979-05-07
Date Created: 1979-05-08
Library locations
Jerome Robbins Dance Division
Shelf locator: *MGZTO 5-1095
Pavlova, Anna, 1881-1931
Slavenska, Mia
Dolin, Anton, 1904-1983
Fonteyn, Margot, 1919-1991
Shearer, Moira, 1926-2006
Markova, Alicia, Dame, 1910-2004
Franklin, Frederic, 1914-2013 -- Interviews
Lester, Keith, 1904-1993
Spessivtzeva, Olga, 1895-1991
Danilova, Alexandra, 1907-1997
Kochno, Boris
Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo
Bogatyri (Choreographic work : Massine)
Elfes (Choreographic work : Fokin)
Éléments (Choreographic work : Fokin)
Rouge et noir (Choreographic work : Massine)
Devil's holiday (Choreographic work : Ashton)
Oral histories
Additional physical form: For transcript of interview see *MGZMT 5-1095.
Source note: Interview with Frederic Franklin conducted by Peter Conway for the Jerome Robbins Dance Division Oral History Project at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, on May 7 and 8, 1979. Part 1 (April 30 and May 1, 1979), Part 3 (May 11 and 18, 1979), Part 4 (October 24 and 25, 1979), Part 5 (October 9, 12, and 22, 1981), Part 6 (October 22, 23 and 27, 1981), and Part 7 (November 3 and 5, 1981) are cataloged separately.
Bibliographic history: Title supplied by cataloger.
Source characteristics: Sound quality is good overall. The recording is marred by occasional fluctuations in volume, extraneous noise, and short gaps, but the speakers' voices are always easily audible.
Venue: Recorded by Peter Conway for The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts May 7 and 8, 1979 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.
Physical Description
Audiotape reel
Extent: 1 audiotape reel (approximately 3 hr.,15 min.); polyester; half-track; 1.875 ips; 5 in.
Streaming audio file 1, May 7, 1979 (approximately one hour and 37 minutes). Frederic Franklin speaks with Peter Conway about Keith Lester and his ballet David, created for the Markova-Dolin Ballet Company; Walter Gore including his ballet Eaters of darkness; Anna Pavlova including his memories of her Dying swan and other roles; her charisma; his one encounter with Olga Spessivtzeva; his impressions of Lydia Lopakova; Russian ballet training and Russian style including as compared with English training and style; British male dancers in the 1930s including Anton Dolin, Robert Helpmann, Walter Gore, Stanley Judson, and Harold Turner; British ballerinas including Margot Fonteyn, Moira Shearer, and Pamela May; Antony Tudor and his early ballets, including their greater popularity in the United States than in England; George Balanchine and the initial resistance to his work; more on English dancers in the 1930s including their being permitted individuality on stage; the high level of technique and relative lack of dramatic ability of dancers today; performance anecdotes about Alicia Markova; working with Balanchine including learning Balanchine's Danses concertantes, with Alexandra Danilova; his relationship with Markova; why Dolin was not asked to join the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo; Moira Shearer and Margot Fonteyn; more on the narrow focus and lack of theatrical training of dancers today.Streaming audio file 2, May 8, 1979 (approximately one hour and 38 minutes). Frederic Franklin speaks with Peter Conway about the beginnings of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo including the chaotic scene when he first arrived in Monte Carlo and anecdotes about various dancers aspiring to join the company; the polyglot and multinational character of the company dancers; working with Leonide Massine; his early roles including the Golden slave in [Michel Fokine's] Schéhérazade; the Moor in [Fokine's] Petrouchka including a rehearsal anecdote involving Alexandra Danilova, himself, and Massine; some of the other male dancers in the company; life in the company, including many anecdotes; Boris Kochno; Massine's work Bogatyri; anecdotes about Danilova; Mia Slavenska and other ballerinas in the company; Fokine's work Les elfes including the costumes; Fokine's work Les éléments; more on Bogatyri; Frederick Ashton and his work The devil's holiday; working with Ashton; Danilova in The devil's holiday compared with Markova; Massine's symphonic ballets including his roles in Massine's Seventh symphony and his Rouge et noir.
Type of Resource
Sound recording
RLIN/OCLC: 994684780
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b21304242
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): fa67b490-c7d3-0135-eafd-0f3c84824b41
Rights Statement
The New York Public Library holds or manages the copyright(s) in this item. If you need information about reusing this item, please go to:

Item timeline of events

  • 1914: Creator Born
  • 1979: Created (Approximate)
  • 2013: Creator Died
  • 2017: Digitized
  • 2020: Found by you!
  • 2021

MLA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Interview with Frederic Franklin" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1979 - 1979.

Chicago/Turabian Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Interview with Frederic Franklin" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed September 29, 2020.

APA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. (1979 - 1979). Interview with Frederic Franklin Retrieved from

Wikipedia Citation

<ref name=NYPL>{{cite web | url= | title= (sound recording) Interview with Frederic Franklin, (1979 - 1979)|author=Digital Collections, The New York Public Library |accessdate=September 29, 2020 |publisher=The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations}}</ref>

Interview with Frederic Franklin