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Robert Tracy Papers

Identifier: SCA-046


  • Creation: 1979 - 1999

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research by appointment. Please contact the library's Special Collections department.


Conditions Governing Use

Skidmore does not hold copyright for these materials.

Biographical / Historical

Robert Tracy earned a bachelor’s degree in classical studies and dance from Skidmore College, where he studied ballet with Melissa Hayden. He performed for a year with Maria Tallchief’s Chicago Lyric Opera Ballet before being awarded a scholarship to the New York City Ballet-affiliated School of American Ballet in New York, where he also studied at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater school. He performed internationally and was famous for his aerial leap. He was the longest lasting live-in boyfriend of dancer Rudolf Nureyev, whom he met when Tracy was 23. Their relationship lasted for 14 years. Robert Tracy was also a prolific dance writer and taught dance history at Fordham University. He died on June 7, 2007 in Manhattan of AIDS. He was 52.

Mr. Tracy’s first book, “Balanchine’s Ballerinas: Conversations With the Muses,” was published by Simon & Schuster in 1983 and described by The Wall Street Journal as “this year’s great ballet book.” Subsequent books included “Goddess: Martha Graham’s Dancers Remember” (1997) and “Ailey Spirit: The Journey of an American Dance Company” (2004), both published by Limelight.

Mr. Tracy also edited Nigel Gosling’s “Prowling the Pavements: Selected Writings From London, 1950-1980” (Winchell, 1986) and contributed to Isamu Noguchi’s 1994 anthology “Essays and Conversations” and to the International Encyclopedia of Dance. He also wrote on dance, theater, music, art and film for newspapers and magazines including The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Dance, Elle and Vogue.


1.25 Cubic Feet (The collections consists of issues of Vogue Magazine containing articles written by Skidmore alumni Robert Tracy as well as photographs and a manuscript for "Goddess". There are also two boxes of cassette tapes containing interviews from over the years for Tracy's published works.) : The Vogue Magazine materials are arranged chronologically and the paper records alphabetically. The tapes are arranged alphabetically by last name of the interviewee within each publication.

81 Cassettes

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Repository Details

Part of the Scribner Library Archives, Skidmore College Repository