Research Catalog

Interview with Donald Saddler

Interview with Donald Saddler [electronic resource] / interviewed by Camille Hardy and Barbara Palfy ; [presented by] The George Balanchine Foundation.

Available Online

NYPL Digital Collections


Additional Authors
  • Balanchine, George
  • Saddler, Donald.
  • Hardy, Camille.
  • Palfy, Barbara.
  • George Balanchine Foundation.
  • George Balanchine Foundation. dnr
3 streaming video files (97 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 (Box 19. Stars in Your Eyes) (1939) [Dance Division call number: *MGZMD 146, box 19], compiled by Camille Hardy. A production investigated but not included in the Popular Balanchine repertory. Inventory, argument for inclusion in repertory by Camille Hardy, rebuttal by Claude Conyers, background materials (photocopies and typescript from published sources), programs, notices and reviews (photocopies, typescripts, and typed compilation of press commentary), photographs, photocopies of images from the press, and transcripts of interviews with Alicia Alonso, Maria Karnilova, and Donald Saddler. Also includes piano-vocal arrangements of "All the Time," "Ballet for Tata," and "It's All Yours," and oversize conductor's scores for dance numbers.
Access (note)
  • Patrons can access streaming video files online only onsite at the Library for the Performing Arts.
Event (note)
  • Videotaped during an interview at the Balanchine Foundation, New York, N.Y., on Feb. 15, 2002.
Source (note)
  • George Balanchine Foundation.
  • 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.
Call Number
*MGZIDVD 5-7313
Interview with Donald Saddler [electronic resource] / interviewed by Camille Hardy and Barbara Palfy ; [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, Donald Saddler ; interviewers, Camille Hardy and Barbara Palfy.
Videotaped during an interview at the Balanchine Foundation, New York, N.Y., on Feb. 15, 2002.
Gift; George Balanchine Foundation. NN-PD
Connect to:
NYPL Digital Collections
Added Author
Balanchine, George, choreographer.
Saddler, Donald. Interviewee
Hardy, Camille. Interviewer
Palfy, Barbara. Interviewer
George Balanchine Foundation.
George Balanchine Foundation. Donor
Added Title
Popular Balanchine collection.
Research Call Number
*MGZIDVD 5-7313
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