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Legacy Oral History Online Collection

Audio Clip and Transcript

Mann Audio Clip

Interviewer: Dennis Mullen

DM: Grace, what was it like being an American dancing for Ballets Russes?

GM: Very interesting experience. There were very few of us, there were only about six Americans, six girls I remember. John Taras came with us. Oh, what shall I tell you about the company? It was just living ballet, it was being a part of what I had always dreamed of being. It was very,very hard work. We rehearsed for many hours a day. But it also had the same feeling as " The Red Shoes," if that tells you anything, because the direction was old school like that and the Colonel would come and ask how you were doing and took personal interest. Of course, he did promise me ballets he never gave me, but that was Russian too! It was like a fulfillment of your art. I had never dreamed....

I felt that I had started dancing a little late because I had to finish college. I always felt that four years were gone, yet I wanted an education, I knew I needed it and yet I felt that I was a little behind. It was like a fufillment of something I had never dreamed possible because I had lived such a different life as a college girl, and yet Mr. Kosloff's studio was all art. It was beautiful to me, Dennis, because I had studied painting, and I recognized the Berard sets. I knew what I was performing in front of. I would always stand in the wings and I would look before I'd go onstage. This was wonderful to me.

©Museum of Performance + Design


Grace Mann
Audio Clip and Transcript