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Legacy Oral History Online Collection

Glass Audio Clip and Transcript

Glass Audio Clip

Interviewer: Jeff Friedman, Ph.D.

JF: Do you think that modern dance is in some way an indigenous folk form of the United States?

BG: Oh, no! Because it’s universal. There are Mexicans, Mexicans love modern dance. And there are [very devoted dancers] there. In Israel, I’d say the thing that makes Israeli folk dance so appealing worldwide is the dancers not only know ballet, they know modern, they know American jazz, they know it all, and they pull it together. So I would say that the freedom allowed in modern dance… You may tie yourself to a school, or different people (Limón or other people have done it) but essentially it’s free for you to discover, for you to do. Last year I wanted to compose something to the Canadian popular singer, what’s her name now?

JF: Is it Anne Murray?                       

FG: Anne Murray.

BG: Anne Murray. Yeah. “Fall in Love,” that. I wanted to do something different. Originally I began with a movement like this and then I wanted to change it with more of a feeling of reaching up there and falling in love, and then with an arm movement over here. Well. I got that from modern dance experience. I never would have thought of that. 

In composing the elements, too, folk dancing should—folk dancing is essentially simple, if it’s honest. If it’s something done by French folk, or Mexican peasants, or Russian people, it’s simple.

©Museum of Performance + Design

Henry Glass
Glass Audio Clip and Transcript