Research Catalog

Interview with Frederic Franklin

Interview with Frederic Franklin [electronic resource] / interviewed by Mindy Aloff ; [presented by] The George Balanchine Foundation.

Available Online

NYPL Digital Collections


Additional Authors
  • Balanchine, George
  • Franklin, Frederic, 1914-2013.
  • Aloff, Mindy, 1947-
  • Moylan, Mary Ellen
  • Denisova, Alexandra (Dancer)
  • Littlefield, Dorothie
  • Johnson, Kenneth (Dancer)
  • Klekovic, Patricia (Dancer)
  • Reynolds, Nancy, 1938-
  • Starbuck, James
  • George Balanchine Foundation.
  • George Balanchine Foundation. dnr
3 streaming video files (96 min.) : digital, stereo.
Alternative Title
Popular Balanchine collection.
  • Dance.
  • Video.
  • Interviews.
  • Nonfiction films.
  • This interview was created for the Popular Balanchine Collection.
  • This interview relates to the Popular Balancine dossiers (Boxes 28-29. Song of Norway) (1944, 1962 Los Angeles production) [Dance Division call number: *MGZMD 146, boxes 27-28], compiled by Janice Ross and Catherine Ryan Slavonia. Binder 1. Inventory, overview by Janice Ross and Claude Conyers, background materials on 1944 production (photocopy of original synopsis, typescripts and photocopy of excerpts from published works, typescripts of information on the dances), press releases on 1962 production, reviews and notices, photographs (digital scans, photocopies, and prints), and transcripts of interviews with Helena Bliss, Ruthanna Boris, Peter Deign, Frederic Franklin, John Kelly, Miles Kreuger, Mary Ellen Moylan, Adda Pourmel, Maria Tallchief, and Leland Windreich on the 1944 production and with Barrie Duffus and John Frayer, Roy Fitzell, Garold Gardner, Kenneth Johnson, Linda Keeler, Patricia Klekovic, Rachelle Reyes, and Leland Windreich and Brydon Paige on the 1962 production. Binder 2. Programs (photocopies and originals) and souvenir programs (photocopies). Binder 3. Photocopy of the libretto, photocopy of the annotated prompt book, photocopy of the musical score, sheet music (piano-vocal) for "Strange Music," and photocopies of telegram from Edwin Lester and news clip.
Access (note)
  • Patrons can access streaming video files online only onsite at the Library for the Performing Arts.
Credits (note)
  • Videographer, Nancy Reynolds.
Event (note)
  • Videotaped during an interview at the Balanchine Foundation, New York, N.Y., on Jan. 15, 2001.
Source (note)
  • George Balanchine Foundation.
  • Disc 1 (ca. 41 min.). Frederic Franklin speaks with Mindy Aloff about performing in the Broadway production of Song of Norway and working with George Balanchine; Mindy Aloff reads the production credits for the show; Franklin speaks about the show and how he became involved in the production; discovering at rehearsal that many dancers from Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo were in the show; the entrance for Freddy and his fiddle; the Chocolate shop trio that Franklin was originally part of until Sergei Denham saw him singing on table top and demanded that he not sing; how extraordinary it was to work with Balanchine; rehearsal process only lasting 2 1/2 weeks; not sure where the big ballet number should be placed in the show, ended up being the finale of Act II; about the Helena Bliss number with Lawrence Brooks and how Franklin magically becomes him for the ballet number; Balanchine cutting the length of the music for the ballet number; conflict between Irra Petina and Choura [Alexandra Danilova] and how that made their necklace scene even funnier; Balanchine using steps from Freddy and his fiddle in Baiser de la fee; Balanchine working with the piano score in hand; the first number choreographed by Balanchine in the rehearsal process was Freddy and his fiddle, then some entrances and soloist staging; opening in San Francisco; only performing in the show for two months and then all the current Ballet Russe members left the show to prepare for upcoming Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo season; because of applause during the bows Franklin and Choura [Danilova] were placed last; he already knew the Edvard Grieg music because of growing up in Liverpool, England; Aloff reads the Edwin Denby review of the show in New York; Franklin comments on it and working with Balanchine; Balanchine's career with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo beginning with Song of Norway; identifying seven photographs from the show including Freddy and his fiddle with Jimmy Starbuck, and Mary Ellen Moylan with Danilova; Balanchine not teaching class on a regular basis; the show follows Edvard Grieg's life; George Forrest and Robert Wright creating modern songs that were also popular hits; the War's [World War II] influence if any on Song of Norway [ends abruptly].
  • Disc 2 (40 min.). Franklin speaks about Balanchine not checking show after he finished choreographing it; Balanchine only teaching a few classes and just enough to get them ready for show; Aloff and Franklin look at 16 photographs from both productions (1944 and 1962) including photographs and discussion of Alexandra Denisova, Dorothy Littlefield, Balanchine rehearsing the 1962 production, Kenneth Johnson and Patricia Klekovic; Aloff asks Franklin about comment from Library [Dance Division, NYPL] interview about some direction from Balanchine with cues for entrances; Aloff plays music from Act I (The legend, Hill of dreams, Freddy and his fiddle, Now, and Strange music) with observations from Franklin including the difference between opera voices (1962 version) and Broadway voices (1944 version), how the final ballet music was only the original Edvard Grieg music but the rest of the music was changed by George Forrest and Robert Wright, the Freddy and his fiddle number with a girl singing as he danced out her words, remembering some of the Balanchine choreography, the Now number with Irra Petina doing Spanish movement which lead to Choura's [Danilova's] entrance for necklace scene, and Strange music number having no dancers just used to continue the story.
  • Disc 3 (15 min.). Aloff continues by fast forwarding the music through Midsummer's eve while Franklin speaks about this scene; the dancers timing the show to know when they needed to go on; the original Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo cast not being included in the publicity on any information because they were leaving the show; how much dance was on Broadway in 1944 including On the town and Up in Central park (Helen Tamiris); Franklin thanking Aloff; Nancy Reynolds (videographer) asking Franklin to tell story about David Lichine being the original choreographer, Edwin Lester had worked with Lichine before and hired him but Sergei Denham demanded Balanchine instead; Lichine tried to hire Franklin in London; opening night party for Song of Norway, it was also Franklin's 31st birthday and Denham made him the Maestro of Ballet for the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo; Franklin seeing Balanchine in the 1970's and being worried about Balanchine's health; and concludes with Franklin speaking about Mary Ellen Moylan being the understudy for Choura [Danilova] not Maria Tallchief.
Call Number
*MGZIDVD 5-7316
  • 809258609
  • 809258609
Interview with Frederic Franklin [electronic resource] / interviewed by Mindy Aloff ; [presented by] The George Balanchine Foundation.
Country of Producing Entity
Original Version
Original format: 3 DV-CAM cassettes.
Restricted Access
Patrons can access streaming video files online only onsite at the Library for the Performing Arts.
Interviewee, Frederic Franklin ; interviewer, Mindy Aloff.
Videographer, Nancy Reynolds.
Videotaped during an interview at the Balanchine Foundation, New York, N.Y., on Jan. 15, 2001.
Gift; George Balanchine Foundation. NN-PD
Connect to:
NYPL Digital Collections
Added Author
Balanchine, George, choreographer.
Franklin, Frederic, 1914-2013. Interviewee
Aloff, Mindy, 1947- Interviewer
Moylan, Mary Ellen, dancer.
Denisova, Alexandra (Dancer), dancer.
Littlefield, Dorothie, dancer.
Johnson, Kenneth (Dancer), dancer.
Klekovic, Patricia (Dancer), dancer.
Reynolds, Nancy, 1938- Videographer
Starbuck, James, dancer.
George Balanchine Foundation.
George Balanchine Foundation. Donor
Added Title
Popular Balanchine collection.
Research Call Number
*MGZIDVD 5-7316
View in Legacy Catalog