Research Catalog

Interview with Yuriko.

Title
Interview with Yuriko. April 26, May 1, 3, 5, and 9, 1978, 1978.
Author
Yuriko, 1920-2022
Publication
1978

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StatusVol/DateFormatAccessCall NumberItem Location
disc 1AudioUse in library *MGZTL 4-556 disc 1Performing Arts Research Collections - Dance
disc 2AudioUse in library *MGZTL 4-556 disc 2Performing Arts Research Collections - Dance
disc 3AudioUse in library *MGZTL 4-556 disc 3Performing Arts Research Collections - Dance
disc 4AudioUse in library *MGZTL 4-556 disc 4Performing Arts Research Collections - Dance
disc 5AudioUse in library *MGZTL 4-556 disc 5Performing Arts Research Collections - Dance
disc 6AudioUse in library *MGZTL 4-556 disc 6Performing Arts Research Collections - Dance
disc 7AudioUse in library *MGZTL 4-556 disc 7Performing Arts Research Collections - Dance
disc 8AudioUse in library *MGZTL 4-556 disc 8Performing Arts Research Collections - Dance
disc 9AudioUse in library *MGZTL 4-556 disc 9Performing Arts Research Collections - Dance
disc10AudioUse in library *MGZTL 4-556 disc10Performing Arts Research Collections - Dance
disc11AudioUse in library *MGZTL 4-556 disc11Performing Arts Research Collections - Dance
disc12AudioUse in library *MGZTL 4-556 disc12Performing Arts Research Collections - Dance
disc13AudioUse in library *MGZTL 4-556 disc13Performing Arts Research Collections - Dance

Details

Additional Authors
Tobias, Tobi
Description
13 sound discs (approximately nine hours and 11 minutes) : digital; 4 3/4 in.
Alternative Title
Dance Oral History Project.
Subjects
Note
  • Interview with Yuriko conducted by Tobi Tobias on April 26 and May, 3, 5, and 9, 1978 for the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Jerome Robbins Dance Division's Oral History Project. The location of the interview is not specified but almost certainly was in New York City.
  • Title supplied by cataloger.
  • Sound quality is good except for the first approximate 10:30 minutes of disc 11 in which the volume is very low. The recording is marred by extraneous noise including "tape hiss" and occasional short gaps. However, except as noted with respect to disc 11, the speakers' voices are always easily audible.
Funding (note)
  • The conservation and cataloging of this recording was made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. The support of the National Endowment for the Arts is also gratefully acknowledged.
Call Number
*MGZTL 4-556
OCLC
82357556
Author
Yuriko, 1920-2022, interviewee.
Title
Interview with Yuriko. April 26, May 1, 3, 5, and 9, 1978, 1978.
Production
1978
Type of Content
spoken word
Type of Medium
audio
Type of Carrier
audio disc
Event
Recorded by Tobi Tobias 1978, April 26 and May 1, 3, 5, and 9, New York (N.Y.)
Summary
Disc 1 (approximately 48 minutes), April 26, 1978. Yuriko speaks with Tobi Tobias about her family and childhood in California and in Japan; her early music and dance training, in California; her dance training and touring with Konami Ishii in Japan; the loneliness she felt during her years in Japan and how this affected the upbring of her own children; her return to the United States and determination to be as American as possible; her teacher Dorothy Lyndall; teaching [Graham] technique; Martha Graham's recognition of the inevitability of change; Graham's dancers and the way technique is taught today as compared with Yuriko's preferred approach; the licensing of the teaching of Graham technique including Yuriko's view that Graham technique should be in the public domain; her compulsory evacuation to [an internment camp in] Arizona [ends abruptly but continues on disc 2].
Disc 2 (approximately 50 minutes). April 26, 1978. Yuriko continues to speak with Tobi Tobias about the internment of Japanese-Americans in camps during World War II, including her own experience; her move to New York; supporting herself as a seamstress; her impressions at that time of the choreography of Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, and Hanya Holm, respectively; Graham including how Yuriko came to meet and study with her; their first impressions of each other; Graham's early recognition of her abilities; learning Graham's works and joining Graham's company; Louis Horst, as a teacher and as a person; his artistic mentoring of Graham; Graham's working methods including with respect to her works Dark meadows and Sarabande [ends abruptly].
Disc 3 (approximately 47 minutes). May 1, 1978. Yuriko speaks with Tobi Tobias about her husband including how they first met; their children and family life; why she uses only her first name, professionally; the "other Yuriko" (Yuriko Kimura); some of the other dancers in Graham's company when Yuriko joined; Graham's policy of distancing herself from her dancers' personal lives; Graham's work Appalachian spring including how it may have reflected Graham's feelings about Erick Hawkins at the time; Graham's relationship with Louis Horst; how Appalachian spring has changed in performance; Graham's works Clytemnestra and Seraphic dialogue; more on the making of Appalachian spring including Graham's explanation in rehearsal of the characters' motivations [ends abruptly but continues on disc 4].
Disc 4 (approximately 47 minutes). May 1, 1978. Yuriko continues to speak with Tobi Tobias about the making of Appalachian spring; Isamu Noguchi and his work for Graham; Graham's work Dark meadow; Graham's choreographic process including her give and take with her dancers; Graham's complete identification with whatever character she was performing; Graham's need to dance; Graham's work, Angels [Diversion of angels] as one of the first in which Graham did not dance; how Graham technique has changed over the years [ends abruptly but continues on disc 5].
Disc 5 (approximately 12 minutes). May 1, 1978. Yuriko continues to speak with Tobi Tobias about Graham technique, in particular the spiral [ends abruptly].
Disc 6 (approximately 44 minutes). May 3, 1978. Yuriko speaks with Tobi Tobias about her feelings regarding the creating of this oral history including the difficulty of articulating physical memories; Martha Graham's presentation of herself as a priestess of the art of dance and her dancers' corresponding idolization of her; Yuriko's personal relationship with Graham; briefly, Bertram Ross; the strong female roles in Graham's work as arising from Graham's character; Graham's work Cave of the heart, in particular Graham's solo as Medea in the snake dance; audience responses to Graham's work; studying ballet with Anatole Oboukhoff [ends abruptly but continues on disc 7].
Disc 7 (approximately 53 minutes). May 3, 1978. Yuriko continues to speak with Tobi Tobias about Anatole Oboukhoff; studying ballet with Muriel Stuart; Yuriko's conscious separation of her study of ballet and her study of modern dance; the positioning of the upper torso in ballet as compared with its positioning in modern dance; Yuriko's approach to teaching technique; Rudolf Nureyev in Appalachian spring; Graham's use of poetic images when teaching; more on Yuriko's approach to teaching technique; whether Cave of the heart may have arisen from events in Graham's personal life relating to Louis Horst and Erick Hawkins; other dancers in the role of Medea; Graham's Clytemnestra; Graham's work Canticle [for innocent comedians]; her reasons for leaving Graham's company; her sense that Graham wanted her to leave; the possibility of reconstructing certain works, for example Moon [Yuriko's role in Graham's Canticle for innocent comedians]; [ends abruptly but continues on disc 8].
Disc 8 (approximately 41 minutes). May 3, 1978. Yuriko continues to speak with Tobi Tobias about the role of the Moon [in Martha Graham's Canticle for innocent comedians] including the extent to which she created the choreography for this role; reconstructing and teaching this role to her daughter [Susan Kikuchi]; working on the reconstruction with Eugene Lester; Graham's advising Susan Kikuchi not to perform the roles of her mother, Yuriko; reasons the revival was eventually canceled; Yuriko's relationship with Graham in the period after she left the company; their relationship while Yuriko was in the company; Yuriko's commercial work, in the musical comedies The king and I and The flower drum song, and how this affected her relationship with Graham.
Disc 9 (approximately 37 minutes). May 5, 1978. Yuriko speaks with Tobi Tobias about her experience performing the role of Eliza in Jerome Robbins' dance Small house of Uncle Thomas in the musical comedy The king and I; auditioning for Robbins; her experience with racial discrimination when she auditioned for the cast of the musical comedy Carousel; more on the audition for Robbins; Robbins' choreographing of the dance including an anecdote about Richard Rodgers' advice to Robbins; working with Robbins; staging the current revival including her daughter's taking on her old role as Eliza; more on the original production of The king and I including how she felt about the show's great success; Gertrude Lawrence and (briefly) Yul Brenner as performers, in particular what she describes as their star quality; performing the role of Eliza; her goal of achieving what she considers a perfect performance [ends abruptly but continues on disc 10].
Disc 10 (approximately 57 minutes). May 5, 1978. Yuriko speaks with Tobi Tobias about her perfect performance while on tour with Graham in Helsinki; her revelatory visit to Delphi, Greece and how it influenced her dancing including her performance in Helsinki; the channeling of her former hunger to perform into teaching and the giving of her knowledge and experience to young dancers; Yuriko's and her daughter Susan's experience with the musical comedy The flower drum song; buying and renovating a house in Brooklyn; her role of Eve in Martha Graham's Embattled garden including Graham's design of her costume; Graham's work Clytemnestra in particular Yuriko's interpretation of her role as Iphigenia [ends abruptly].
Disc 11 (approximately 24 minutes). May 5, 1978. Yuriko speaks with Tobi Tobias about Martha Graham's feelings about relinquishing her roles; the 1965 revival of Primitive mysteries, in particular Yuriko's dancing the role of the Virgin; Graham's coaching her in the role; the question as to whether Graham's choreography can be performed successfully by other dancers.
Disc 12 (approximately 46 minutes). May 9, 1978. [In the first 10:30 minutes, sound quality is poor due to very low volume; following a gap from 10:30 - 11:30, volume returns to normal, and sound quality is subsequently good.] Yuriko speaks with Tobi Tobias about her relationship with Martha Graham including the incident that led to Yuriko's breaking with Graham for seven years; her feelings about assisting with revivals of Graham's work; choreographing; Graham technique, in particular its teaching; the importance of understanding the concepts behind the movements; her thoughts as to whether studying Graham technique might be useful to a ballet dancer [ends abruptly but continues on disc 13].
Disc 13 (approximately 45 minutes). May 9, 1978. Yuriko continues to speak with Tobi Tobias about teaching Graham technique; her own choreography; her house on Block Island as a place to rest and think; her international teaching activities; more on her own choreography; briefly, Paul Taylor; Merce Cunningham; racial integration in the Martha Graham Dance Company and Graham's refusal to perform where her dancers would be subject to discrimination; Yuriko's thoughts about the future.
Funding
The conservation and cataloging of this recording was made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. The support of the National Endowment for the Arts is also gratefully acknowledged.
Original Version
Original format: five sound reels (approximately nine hours and 11 minutes); 5 inches; polyester, half-track; 1 7/8 ips.; transferred to wav file and compact disc formats in 2013.
Local Note
For transcript of interview: see *MGZMT 5-556.
Former classmark: *MGZT 5-556
Added Author
Tobias, Tobi, interviewer.
Added Title
Dance Oral History Project.
Research Call Number
*MGZTL 4-556
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