Interview with Donald Saddler
NamesBalanchine, George (Choreographer)Saddler, Donald (Interviewee)Hardy, Camille (Interviewer)Palfy, Barbara (Interviewer)George Balanchine Foundation (Presenter)
Dates / OriginDate Created: 2002-02-15
Table of ContentsDisc 1 (ca. 39 min.). Donald Saddler speaks with Camile Hardy and Barbara Palfy about seeing the Broadway production of Stars in your eyes, and working with George Balanchine; Saddler speaks about getting a ticket for Stars in your eyes from friend Paul Alvin and meeting him at the stage door with some friends including Jerome Robbins, Nora Kaye, and Alicia Alonso; Hardy showing Saddler a photograph of dancers as he identifies them; remembering the production; Saddler speaks about the two ballets in the show, the first act ballet was choreographed by Carl Randall and the 2nd act ballet (Count Ballet) was choreographed by Balanchine; Alonso said that Balanchine choreographed the number at the School of American Ballet (SAB); Balanchine not receiving any choreographer credit for his work; Hardy mentions some links between people and asks Saddler if he knew them; Saddler speaks about Carl Randall and his career; Hardy reads part of a Playbill review by Russell about the Act 2 ballet and nightclub scene; performers in the show took class from Fokine's mother, while Saddler took at SAB; performing in a show for three months while also performing in a nightclub act with Nora Kaye; how much money he got for being in a Broadway show; Hardy asks Saddler about auditioning for shows in 1938-1939; Nicholas Magallanes being the only nice person helping him at audition with a locker; Hardy showing Saddler a photograph of Waltz academy choreographed by Balanchine; he speaks about working with Balanchine on this ballet; Hardy mentions names from progam that she thinks might be stage names; Hardy asks if there was any stigma associated with performing in a Broadway show, Saddler speaks about not having any ballet companies to perform in at that time, and Hardy asks about the Fokine school.Disc 2 (39 min.). Saddler speaks about the Fokine School and performing company, going to Louison (?) Stadium to see his friend Paul Haakon; Saddler speaks about performing Fokine ballets while dancing with Ballet Theatre; Patricia Bowman and Paul Haakon performing as a team using Fokine choreography; Balanchine helping Tamara Toumanova because she had been a baby ballerina, first seeing her perform in Leonide Massine's Le Tricorne, Toumanova's film career and her last film The private life of Sherlock Holmes; how Saddler made the transition from ballet to Broadway; Jerome Robbins calling him to perform in High Button Shoes as a replacement, Saddler asking to audition; segueing to Saddler's Broadway career; Saddler speaks about Call me madam and being Robbins friend during tour; choreographing his first Broadway show, Wonderful town with George Abbott and Rosalind Russell, Russell breaking the ice by asking for his help as the choreographer; Hardy shows a photography including Balanchine, Abbott, and Saddler; Saddler speaks about Balanchine's health; Balanchine suggesting Natalia Makarova for a role in On your toes and her quiet audition/reading; story of Makarova being terrified about going up on stage; overhearing a joking Balanchine say, "Ask her if she can dance"; hearing Makarova's speeches and how she learned English; Saddler speaks about what he most admired about Balanchine; Saddler wishing that Balanchine's Waltz academy had stayed in the repertory; his proudest moment in his own career being No no Nanette and capturing the essence of 1925; what kind of research he accomplished for that show; how the production of Boyfriend with Julie Andrews changed from London to Broadway with the Broadway version being more energetic; Balanchine choreographing Great lady which was the beginning of the musical style of dancing not seen on Broadway before, only Albertina Rasch line dancing girls; Saddler speaks about his audition for Ballet Theater as replacement dancer; starting to learn ballets in the audition process before he was hired; Leonide Massine calling him about joining Ballet Theatre; going to see Richard Pleasant about his contract; Mikhail Mordkin being present and recommending dancers.Disc 3 (ca. 19 min.). Saddler speaks about taking class with Mordkin and what Mordkin wore during class; Lucia Chase sponsoring Ballet Theatre; his six sisters and five brothers being good social dancers but not interested in performing; learning form and acting in Ballet Theatre; young choreographers not working well with groups now; the stage manager of High Button Shoes asking Saddler to make up a dance; working with great choreographers during beginning of Ballet Theatre including Michel Fokine, Bronislava Nijinska, Adolf Bolm and Leonide Massine; Broadway being a creative outlet and not so much about money back then; Saddler asking Hardy to speak with Fernando Alonso about getting additional information; Saddler speaks about being in the right place at the right time to meet people; losing friends that could help him remember important events; doing bar warm-ups with Maria Kornilova (?), who lived across the street from Saddler; Hardy asking Saddler if he knew Olga Suarez; Hardy and Palfy thanking Saddler for the interview.
Library locationsJerome Robbins Dance DivisionShelf locator: *MGZIDVD 5-7313
TopicsBalanchine, GeorgeSaddler, DonaldRandall, Paul -1965Haakon, PaulToumanova, Tamara, 1919-1996Robbins, JeromeAbbott, George, 1887-1995Makarova, Natalia, 1940-Mordkin, Mikhail, 1881-1944Fokine, Michel, 1880-1942Musicals. Stars in your eyesMusicals. Wonderful townMusicals. High button shoes
NotesStatement of responsibility: interviewed by Camille Hardy and Barbara Palfy ; [presented by] The George Balanchine Foundation.Performers: Interviewee, Donald Saddler ; interviewers, Camille Hardy and Barbara Palfy.Venue: Videotaped during an interview at the Balanchine Foundation, New York, N.Y., on Feb. 15, 2002.Original version: Original format: 3 DV-CAM cassettes.Acquisition: Gift; George Balanchine Foundation. NN-PD
Physical DescriptionVideocassetteExtent: 3 videocassettes (DVCam) (97 min.) : sound, color ; 1/4 in.
Type of ResourceMoving image
IdentifiersNYPL catalog ID (B-number): b19683798Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): a69fad90-f871-0130-2a36-3c075448cc4b
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