Research Catalog

Interview with Dudley Williams

Interview with Dudley Williams [sound recording].
Williams, Dudley, 1938-2015

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two discs in one caseAudioSupervised use *MGZTL 4-2554 two discs in one casePerforming Arts Research Collections - Dance


Additional Authors
Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
2 sound discs (ca. 76 min.) : digital, stereo; 4 3/4 in.
  • Disc 1 (ca. 47 min.). Dudley Williams speaks with Don McDonagh about studying with a variety of teachers and modern dancers; going to numerous dance classes in a single day, from Brooklyn to Manhattan, and taking trains; skipping academic classes in order to take dance classes; living in the Bronx; studying with May O'Donnell and Martha Graham; receiving a scholarship to study at Graham's studio, and cleaning in exchange for lessons; the fact that O'Donnell encouraged students to study with Graham; the fact that rehearsals at Graham's studio always felt like a performance, and were taken seriously; dancing with Alvin Ailey's company, and sustaining an injury while in Africa; Graham paying for his rehabilitation after the injury; both the Ailey company and Graham's company preparing for tour, and having to choose between the two companies; ultimately picking Ailey's company; Graham's anger at his decision; his preference for Ailey's dances; Graham's use of older dancers instead of younger dancers; touring in England with the Graham company, and the audience's reaction; Robin Howard's involvement in the Graham company; Howard's dance company in England; the fact that Robert Cohan and Bertram Ross taught at Howard's school; first seeing Graham's company in 1955-1956, in the performance Night journey; remembering Erick Hawkins' role in Night journey, and the fact it was the epitome of manliness and Americana; his opinion of Stuart Hodes' dancing abilities; the strength of Graham's company in 1956; idolizing Mary Hinkson; being cast in Clytemnestra; attending Graham's performances regardless of whether he was cast in them; Graham's ability to upstage all dancers, and not being able to take one's eyes from her; Graham's group work; Graham's tendency to accept student choreography later in her career; similarities between Graham and Ailey.
  • Disc 2 (ca. 29 min.). Dudley Williams speaks with Don McDonagh about Martha Graham's performance in 1969; returning to the company briefly in the 1960s; his opinion of Ron Protas, and an anecdote of dealing with him on a financial issue; the last time he saw Graham at the Kennedy Center, and speaking briefly with her; staying with Ailey because Talley Beatty was teaching there at the time; beginning to teach classes at the Ailey studio; the lack of style in many contemporary dancers; the guest teachers who would appear at the Performing Arts High School in Manhattan; taking a class with Doris Humphrey, and still getting goosebumps thinking about it; Graham's dance, Cave of the heart, and the set design by Dani Karavan; Graham's performance in Cave of the heart; the Performing Arts High School in Manhattan, and his opinion of it; teaching Graham technique to young students; the problem with dancing the choreography without emotion; Ailey's ability to choreograph, and his opinions of his choreography [abrupt end].
Alternative Title
Dance Audio Archive.
  • Interview with Dudley Williams conducted by Don McDonagh on June 1, 1995.
  • Open as of August 22, 2012.
Funding (note)
  • Recording was preserved through a grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
Source (note)
  • Don McDonagh;
Call Number
*MGZTL 4-2554
Williams, Dudley, 1938-2015, interviewee.
Interview with Dudley Williams [sound recording].
Recording was preserved through a grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
Gift; Don McDonagh; 2007
Added Author
McDonagh, Don. Donor
Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
Research Call Number
*MGZTL 4-2554 sound disc
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