Leaping Jerry Robbins

Dance
His birthday is over so it is back to business. To admire the work of Jerome Robbins (he is currently being deified, similar to Balanchine) is to stumble upon his borrowings, and lack of crediting of others. This is so sensitive — and it’s a difficult-to-discern thin line of how the artistic process happens. Again ...

Happy birthday, Jerry! Love, WSS kids

Dance · Featured · Film
When was the last time a film clip got a standing ovation? Well, it happened last night. The audience at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills erupted after watching Rita Moreno and George Chakiris, on screen, kicking it to Leonard Bernstein’s thumping music and Stephen Sondheim’s wicked lyrics (all still ring dismally true) ...

On Robbins’s 100th, his biographers raise a glass

Dance · Featured · Language & ideas
I’ll leave the kudos for Jerome Robbins on this auspicious day — his 100th birthday — to the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts now hosting an exhibit, Voice of My City: Jerome Robbins and New York; New York City Ballet with its planned Robbins repertory evening tonight (Afternoon of a Faun, Other ...

George Chakiris recalls ‘West Side Story’ filming 1

Dance · Film
“All of Jerry’s choreography in this film is dialogue. It’s feeling. It’s not just dance steps.” So said George Chakiris apropos the choreography of Jerome Robbins, during “A Conversation with George Chakiris” at The Ellen Theater in Bozeman, Montana, in 2015. Robbins personally cast Chakiris as Bernardo, leader of the Sharks gang, for West Side ...

Gypsy dancer shop-talk at the Academy

Dance · Film
It was a night of dance chatter at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. A highly vaunted circle, including veteran gypsy dancers, a choreographer for the camera, and an Oscar-winning actor, gathered at AMPAS prior to a screening of “West Side Story” Monday July 18, 2016. In the photo, Maria Jimenez, who danced ...

‘West Side Story’ feted, dissected, appreciated at the Academy

Dance · Film
Fascinating film lore revealed by producer Walter Mirisch, at Monday’s panel discussion prior to a special screening of West Side Story (1961) at the Academy. Apparently Jerome Robbins, WSS’s creator/co-director, was extremely resistant to the location shooting, in New York City, of the “Prologue” — the movie’s brilliant opening minutes when an overhead shot drills into ...

Be the swingin’est thing. Be a Jet … @ Laemmle Anniversary Classics

Dance · Film · Theater
The film version of the legendary, game-changing Broadway musical was released 55 years ago, in 1961. arts•meme’s Debra Levine will offer opening remarks to the the movie at this week’s Anniversary Classics screening in Beverly Hills. Levine will share her dance appreciation of the musical’s creator and movie co-director, choreographer Jerome Robbins. She will also ...

Critic Stephen Farber’s TCM Fest 2016 movie round-up 1

Film
by 
The fun of the TCM Classic Film Festival [arts•meme has covered since 2010] is the sheer range of offerings, from obscure rarities to Oscar-anointed hits. Three of my favorite events from this year’s festival featured memorable guest appearances. The Yearling was shown in a magnificent 35mm print from The George Eastman House. Not all studio ...

Jack Cole, Jerry Robbins put dancing sailors into the zeitgeist, 1944-5

Dance · Film
The war was just over — September 2, 1945. The streets of the nation, especially the big cities like New York and Los Angeles, had been teeming with military men. So it’s not that unusual that choreographers were putting these figures into their dances. And yet, it’s odd, isn’t it, that a trio of sailors ...

Jerome Robbins, in 1947 the king of high/low art

Dance
In this photo dated September 7, 1947, choreographer Jerome Robbins coaches chorus kids in ballet. He’s preparing dancers for “High Button Shoes” [music Jule Styne, lyrics Sammy Cahn, book Stephen Longstreet, direction George Abbott, choreography Jerome Robbins]. The show opened October 9 1947 at the Century Theatre on Broadway, then moved to London’s West End ...