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Eddie Verso stages Robbins' "NY Export: Opus Jazz"

Chat De Pas

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For those of you in the Chicago and NYC areas who have met Eddie and Karen Verso at the Richmond Adult Dance Camp, you may be interested to know that Eddie recently staged Jerome Robbins' "NY Export: Opus Jazz" for the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago. He'll do the same for the New York City Ballet during their Spring Season.


The Joffrey will do its last four performances THIS weekend (Fri-Sat-Sun March 18-19-20), so if you can get a ticket at the last minute, it'll be worth the effort! "Opus Jazz" is part of the "American Masterworks" program. Here's a link to the Joffrey website:


The website has links to the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times reviews, and also a TOTALLY cool video clip from the performance. Check it out!


Eddie will start rehearsing the New York City Ballet cast late next week, and they will perform the work five times, opening on Friday, April 29. The other four performances are scheduled for Saturday, April 30, and the following Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, May 3, 5, and 7. Here's a link to the NYCB Spring Season weekly schedule:




This has been a really exciting project for Eddie's adult and teen students, because he used us as a rehearsal group while he and Karen reconstructed the ballet before working with the professional companies. So, we got to learn some of the choreography, and experience first-hand the unique Robbins way of moving (which wasn't easy, by the way!). It was a lot of fun and a great opportunity for your average recreational dancer.


Hope some of you can get to the performances!


Carolyn ;o)

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  • 1 month later...

Opening night for "NY Export: Opus Jazz" is this coming Friday, April 29th!


Here's a link to the NYCB website ballet description:




You can get to the performance schedule from this link by doing the following: Under "View Schedules" in the left-hand column, click on "Performance Search." In the "Ballet" field, use the drop-down to find "N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz". Click on "Search for Ballets", and the list of 5 performances will come up.


John Rockwell of the NY Times had this to say about the upcoming performances:


ARTS | April 24, 2005


DANCE (John Rockwell)


The big novelty of the week is the New York City Ballet's company premiere on Friday of Jerome Robbins's "N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz." Set to a driving symphonic jazz score, the dance was created in 1958 for Robbins's short-lived Ballets: U.S.A. As seen recently at the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, this is a charming, vital street dance (sneakers, T-shirts) close in style to Robbins's choreography the year before for Leonard Bernstein's "West Side Story." Why it hasn't joined the City Ballet repertory until now is a real question. Maybe it's because Robbins, in thrall to Balanchine's classical balletic abstraction, felt it unsuitable in its popsy exuberance.


The Week Ahead






Watch especially the men in the second movement, "Statics" - you'll see some incredible dancing!


Hope to see some of you there....


Carolyn ;o)

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More info on the NYC Ballet performances!


Here is Anna Kisselgoff's article from today's (Thursday, 04/28/2005) New York Times. The premiere is tomorrow night, Friday, April 29th.


Since the posted links don't stay up forever - as I found out with my first post about the Joffrey performances - I'm also including the text of the article here.


Link to article with photo:






"With its defiant, finger-snapping young people, stylized gang rape and duet

for vulnerable teenagers (the boy was black, the girl white) Jerome

Robbins's landmark 1958 ballet "New York Export: Opus Jazz" was no ordinary

essay on alienation.


The sensation that its images (1950's tension beneath surface cool) created

that year in Europe with Ballets: U.S.A., Robbins's new touring company,

may be hard to imagine when New York City Ballet performs "New York Export:

Opus Jazz" for the first time on Friday."


Oh well - I just thought that those of you who know the Versos from ADC Richmond would be interested!


Carolyn ;o)


[Edited by moderator. Sorry, Carolyn, but we are not allowed to print whole articles on the board. That is why we have the Links section on the other board. I had to edit your post and cut all but the first two paragraphs.]

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Here is the word on posting copywritten material. This is quoted from Ballet Talk, written by Alexandra, and also Leigh Witchel.


Policy on copyrighted material: please do not post copyrighted material

-- newspaper articles, reviews, chapters of books, etc.


Originally posted by Leigh Witchel:


Just a reminder -


Please do not copy the text of a review into a post without permission

from the author; this violates copyright.


Instead, you may either:

• Provide a link to the article

• Quote briefly from it (about a paragraph)

• summarize the article.



If you have any questions ask one of the moderators or administrators.

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Im sorry, Victoria. I thought I remembered seeing articles and reviews in other posts, but I must have been mistaken!


Please accept my apologies, everyone...


Carolyn ;o(

Edited by Chat De Pas
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It's okay, Carolyn. :D We are only allowed to copy a small portion of any review or article, and then provide the link.

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Here is the link to John Rockwell's review in the New York Times yesterday Saturday, 04/30/2005):


Review with photo:




Printer-friendly version:




These links don't stay up for more than a week or so, so if you're interested, click now!

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  • 3 years later...

I read in Pointe magazine some time ago, that Opus Jazz was coming to film. I have been looking all over, but I can't find any channels on television that will be showing the film. Does anyone know where I can watch it?

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Ellen Bar and Sean Suozzi of NYC Ballet created a film of Opus Jazz which had its premier last fall (2007) at the NYC Ballet Gala. So there is a film out there.

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There are more than a dozen dancers in that ballet, so it has to have more than just those two.

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Yes, I do know that Ellen Bar and Sean Suozzi of NYC Ballet are in the film. But I was wondering, if it was going to come out on DVD or youtube or on a television channel? Please let me know!



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See post #11 above.


Although the site says that it is available for rental and private showing, it would really surprise me if the Robbins Estate made it available to DVD or other home medium. They're very "close" with his rights. Pity they decided against the Shahn designs.

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