Skip to content
Limit search to available items
Start Over Save to My Lists Save this record Another Search
Author Low, Betty, Interviewee.
Title Interview with Betty Low [sound recording].
Imprint 2008.
Location Call No. Status Help Message
 Performing Arts Research Collections - Dance  *MGZTL 4-2581 [sound disc]  disc 1    USE IN LIBRARY  USE IN LIBRARY
 Performing Arts Research Collections - Dance  *MGZTL 4-2581 [sound disc]  disc 2    USE IN LIBRARY  USE IN LIBRARY
 Performing Arts Research Collections - Dance  *MGZMT 3-2581 [transcript]    AVAILABLE  SUPERVISED USE


Description 2 sound discs (ca. 133 min.): digital ; 4 3/4 in. + transcript (90 leaves)
Note Interview with Betty Low conducted by Bill Schneider on May 29 and June 4, 2008 at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts in New York City as part of the Oral History Project.
Summary Disc 1 (ca. 73 min.). Betty Low speaks with Bill Schneider about the origin of her stage name, Lumila Lvova; her family background; early teachers and dancing experiences; joining the Ballets russes du Col. W. de Basil; anecdotes about her early days in the company including touring across the U.S.A. by train; reminisces about David Lichine and Leonid Massine; briefly mentions her favorite ballet from that period, Noblissima visione; speaks about the [2005] documentary Ballets Russes; briefly describes the types of works performed during the company's American tours; briefly talks about living conditions, salary, and expenses while on tour; the South American tour and the negotiations between Col. W. de Basil and AGMA [American Guild of Musical Artists]; describes a typical day in the company; a short anecdote about Pablo Picasso; the dancers' strike while on tour in Havana, Cuba including their hardships and the financial donations they received; her perspective on the outcome of the strike and its historical impact; thoughts on the sacrifices that dancers make; her perspective on dancers' aging process.
Disc 2 (ca.60 min.). Betty Low continues to speak with Bill Schneider about the Cuban tour including her sickness, the ongoing strike and leaving Cuba; more on her student days, including her experiences in Nikolai Legat's class and his reputation as a master teacher of the Cecchetti technique; briefly reminisces about Margot Fonteyn, Frederic Franklin, and Alicia Alonso; a performance mishap with Alberto Alonso as her partner; her marriage to Robert Pagent [stage name: Anton Vlasov; birth name: Robert Weisser] and his leaving Cuba to perform with Leonide Massine's company [Ballet russe de Monte Carlo]; her return to New York to join Massine; briefly speaks of other New York dance companies performing at that time; the birth of her son Anthony; telling Massine of her pregnancy; Massine's creative process; the impact of her pregnancy, returning to Canada, and giving birth; returning to New York and performing as Octavia in Katharine Cornell's 1948 production of Antony and Cleopatra; her work in theater, and reasons for retiring from ballet; her relationship with Agnes de Mille; brief description of de Mille's work process; anecdote about de Mille and her musician Trudy Whitman; anecdote about a costume made for Katharine Cornell by Martha Graham; speaks on performing in de Mille's musical comedy Bloomer girl; thoughts about the impact of historical events on live performances; working with Jerome Robbins; anecdote about Maureen Stapleton and Marlon Brando; teaching and directing in the drama department at Finch College; her son's marriage and grandson's birth; her work in early television; her grandson and great-grandsons; anecdote about Jerome Robbins and the idea for the ballet, Fancy free; her other work on Broadway; anecdote about her portrait by Yousuf Karsh; her memories of Armistice Day.
Funding The assistance of the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts is gratefully acknowledged.
Local Note Archive original: 2 sound files (ca. 133 min.): digital, WAV file, 48 kHz, 16 bit; recorded directly onto Western Digital 250 GB hard drive on May 29 and June 4, 2008 as interview was conducted; located in the Jerome Robbins Dance Division as of Dec. 30, 2009.
Dubbing master: *MGZTD 4-2581, no. 1-2
Archival transcript: *MGZMTO 3-2581
Subject Low, Betty.
Lichine, David.
Massine, Leonide, 1896-1979.
Robbins, Jerome.
Pagent, Robert.
Cornell, Katharine, 1893-1974.
De Mille, Agnes.
Ballets russes du Col. W. de Basil.
Strikes and lockouts -- Performing arts.
Local Subject Dance company tours.
Subject Musicals. Bloomer girl.
Audiotapes -- Low, B.
Added Author Schneider, Bill, Interviewer.
National Endowment for the Arts, 2007-2008.
New York State Council on the Arts, 2007-2008.
Oral history archive. Oral history project.
Research Call Number *MGZTL 4-2581
*MGZMT 3-2581