Robert Joffrey’s proteges remember him … on film and in person

Dance · Film

Lots of interest in the Joffrey Ballet in advance of the fun, revealing, and memory-filled documentary, Joffrey Ballet: Mavericks of American Dance, which will receive nation-wide viewing this Saturday.

Tom Mossbrucker, at left, memorable in the Joffrey’s production of Billy the Kid, choreography by Eugene Loring, was with the Joffrey organization from 1977 to 1998. He’s not seen in “Mavericks”; the interviewees include Christian Holder, Ann Marie deAngelo, the great Gary Chryst, Ashley Wheater (the company’s current artistic director), and Trinette Singleton, among other first-generation Joffrey dancers.

No mention in the docu about the Joffrey’s long association with the city of Los Angeles, what a pity. But to compensate, there is the presence of local arts & journalism guru, Sasha Anawalt, who is a key talking head in the film as the author of  the go-to book on Joffrey history.

Last summer, interviewing Mossbrucker along with his co-director of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Jean-Philippe Malaty, at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, I asked Mossbrucker to reflect on the influence of his former boss, Robert Joffrey, on his current career.

Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance, screenings
World Premiere, Dance on Camera Festival, New York | Jan 27, 28
Nationwide viewing in movie theaters | Jan 28
Los Angeles screening | Colburn School of Music | Feb 1 | $20 ticket

tom mossbrucker potrait by herb migdoll,  courtesy new york public library collection

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