Interview with Donald Saddler

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Title
Interview with Donald Saddler
Names
Balanchine, George (Choreographer)
Saddler, Donald (Interviewee)
Hardy, Camille (Interviewer)
Palfy, Barbara (Interviewer)
George Balanchine Foundation (Presenter)
Collection

Popular Balanchine

Dates / Origin
Date Created: 2002-02-15
Table of Contents
Disc 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 locations
Jerome Robbins Dance Division
Shelf locator: *MGZIDVD 5-7313
Topics
Balanchine, George
Saddler, Donald
Randall, Paul -1965
Haakon, Paul
Toumanova, Tamara, 1919-1996
Robbins, Jerome
Abbott, George, 1887-1995
Makarova, Natalia, 1940-
Mordkin, Mikhail, 1881-1944
Fokine, Michel, 1880-1942
Musicals. Stars in your eyes
Musicals. Wonderful town
Musicals. High button shoes
Genres
Filmed interviews
Interviews
Notes
Statement 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 Description
Videocassette
Extent: 3 videocassettes (DVCam) (97 min.) : sound, color ; 1/4 in.
Type of Resource
Moving image
Languages
English
Identifiers
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b19683798
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): a69fad90-f871-0130-2a36-3c075448cc4b
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

  • 2002: Created
  • 2018: Digitized
  • 2019: Found by you!
  • 2020

MLA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Interview with Donald Saddler" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 2002. http://digital.gallery.nypl.org/items/b749fff0-f871-0130-2e98-3c075448cc4b

Chicago/Turabian Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Interview with Donald Saddler" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed September 16, 2019. http://digital.gallery.nypl.org/items/b749fff0-f871-0130-2e98-3c075448cc4b

APA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. (2002). Interview with Donald Saddler Retrieved from http://digital.gallery.nypl.org/items/b749fff0-f871-0130-2e98-3c075448cc4b

Wikipedia Citation

<ref name=NYPL>{{cite web | url=http://digital.gallery.nypl.org/items/b749fff0-f871-0130-2e98-3c075448cc4b | title= (moving image) Interview with Donald Saddler, (2002) }} |author=Digital Collections, The New York Public Library |accessdate=September 16, 2019 |publisher=The New York Public Library, Astor, Lennox, and Tilden Foundation}}</ref>

Interview with Donald Saddler