Research Catalog

Interviews with Hanya Holm and Pauline Koner

Interviews with Hanya Holm and Pauline Koner [sound recording].
Holm, Hanya, 1893-1992.

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StatusVol/DateFormatAccessCall NumberItem Location
cassette 1AudioUse in library *MGZTC 3-2278 cassette 1Performing Arts Research Collections - Dance
cassette 2AudioUse in library *MGZTC 3-2278 cassette 2Performing Arts Research Collections - Dance
cassette 3AudioUse in library *MGZTC 3-2278 cassette 3Performing Arts Research Collections - Dance


Additional Authors
  • Koner, Pauline.
  • Siegel, Marcia B.
3 sound cassettes (204 min.)
  • Cassette 1, side A, ca. 51 min. [begins abruptly]. Hanya Holm speaks about her life and career, primarily in terms of her artistic principles, including: the sense of community at Bennington [Bennington College School of the Dance]; reasons she decided to study with Mary Wigman; the reason she did not study ballet; performing [with Mary Wigman's company] in the early 1920s; the situation in Germany in the early 1930s and her decision to leave to teach Wigman's technique in New York City; her view of herself at that time as more of a teacher than a dancer [gap]; her principles regarding the teaching of technique; difficulties in teaching technique, including certain physical aspects; lyricism and contemporary dance artists; her experience with discrimination as a foreigner and as a German in Europe and the U.S. [ends abruptly]. Side B is blank.
  • Cassette 2, side A, ca. 44 min. [begins abruptly]. Holm continues to speak about her career, including: choreographing her first Broadway musical, Davey Crockett [The eccentricities of Davy Crockett, part of the work, Ballet ballads]; her work Trend and the reasons she was not able to continue creating large-scale concert works; her sense of herself as an outsider in the artistic community; her summer program at Colorado College in Colorado Springs; reasons she has not revived Trend; her feeling that Martha Graham's circle, including Louis Horst, did not welcome her participation in Bennington's summer program; being questioned by the FBI [United States Federal Bureau of Investigation] regarding the political leanings of her students; her thoughts on her current students; the formulaic nature of contemporary choreography and teaching methods; criticism's role in promoting creativity.
  • Cassette 2, side B, ca. 37 min. [This is the final segment of the interview with Pauline Koner, which begins on cassette 3.] Pauline Koner speaks about Doris Humphrey, as an artist; the divergent critical views of Humphrey; the gradual dissolving of the professional relationship between Humphrey and José Limón in the late 1950s; Humphrey's illness; Limón as a person; Humphrey as a person; her artistic relationships with Limón and with Koner; more on Humphrey as a person, in particular her courage and perseverance in the face of physical pain; Humphrey's work, Dance overture; speaks briefly about other Humphrey works, including Life of the bee and Theater piece no. 2; Humphrey's belief that one should always be creating; the very difficult working conditions for dance artists at the time; Humphrey's work, Inquest.
  • Cassette 3, side A, ca. 37 min. [Beginning of interview with Pauline Koner.] Pauline Koner speaks about her relationship with Doris Humphrey, including how they first met, how she came to work with Humphrey, and their first collaboration, ca. 1945 [a work referred to by Koner as Voice in the wilderness, with a score by Lukas Foss and sung text from the Book of Isaiah]; Koner's revision of the work in 1948; dancing with Limón in Humphrey's work, The story of mankind; Humphrey's work, Corybantic; Humphrey's work as emobodying universal ideas rather than autobiographical elements; Koner's dissatisfaction with a film made of Humphrey's work Fantasy and fugue in C major and fugue in C minor; Humphrey's work, Ritmo jondo, including the costumes; her disappointment with the revivals of Ritmo jondo she has seen, including one by the José Limón Dance Company; her disapointment with revivals generally [ends abruptly].
  • Cassette 3, side B, ca. 35 min. Koner continues to speak about revivals, including the irreplacability of Limón as a dancer; Humphrey's work, Ruins and visions, including the set; her work, Felipe el loco, including Koner's solos; Koner's frequent choreographing of her own solos and duets in Humphrey's and in Limón's works; Koner's style as a dancer compared with that of Limón; performing with the José Limón Dance Company in a revival of Humphrey's work, New dance; more on the reasons for her dissatisfaction with most revivals of Humphrey's works; Humphrey as a teacher and as a choreographer, including her working method; her extensive knowledge and astute use of music.
  • Oral History Archive.
  • New York State Council on the Arts, 2000-2001.
  • Interview with Hanya Holm conducted by Marcia B. Siegel on Dec. 4, 1980 (cassette 1, side A and cassette 2, side A; ca. 95 min.) and interview with Pauline Koner conducted by Marcia B. Siegel on Apr. 4, 1984 (cassette 2, side B and cassette 3, sides A and B; ca. 109 min.). The interview with Pauline Koner begins on cassette 3, side A, continues on side B, and concludes on cassette 2, side B.
  • The sound quality is fair, and the recording is marred by extraneous noise. Side B of cassette 1 is blank.
Funding (note)
  • Preservation was funded in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, 2000-2001.
Call Number
*MGZTC 3-2278
Holm, Hanya, 1893-1992. Interviewee
Interviews with Hanya Holm and Pauline Koner [sound recording].
Preservation was funded in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, 2000-2001.
Local Note
Archive original: *MGZTCO 3-2278 nos. 1-3
Dubbing master: *MGZTD 10-2278 nos. 1-3
Local Subject
Modern dance -- Technique -- Holm.
Audiotapes -- Holm, H.
Audiotapes -- Koner, P.
Added Author
Koner, Pauline. Interviewee
Siegel, Marcia B. Interviewer
Research Call Number
*MGZTC 3-2278 [sound cassettes]
*MGZTC 3-2278
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