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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Television: Jerome Robbins Documentary on PBS


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I was channel surfing a couple nights ago and came across this fabulous documentary on Jerome Robbins. It was fascinating to see his life- illustrated in pictures, playbills, videos, you name it- and see all the people he worked with. It really tied the American dance scene together- from the Ballet Russes to Baryshnikov. I knew Robbins was an amazing artist, in ballet and on Broadway, but I had no idea how great he truly was. There's Peter Martins among many others, speaking reverently of Robbins. I was rather taken aback to hear people who worked with Robbins in his earlier days calling him 'Jerry' and saying he worked with 'Lenny'! (Leonard Bernstein!!)

 

It came at a perfect point for me, as the choreographer of the piece I'm currently in insturcted me to go watch NYCB and 'see some Robbins.' Robbins' dancers are so casual and free with their dancing- something I struggle with. I make even the slightest movement IMPORTANT, when really the choreographer wants it to be the same as walking down the street or breathing.

 

Anyone else have any thoughts?

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I am speechless. It was really, really lovely. I loved seeing all the old clips of performances. It was especially nice because I had just returned home from New York City, where I had seen NYCB do a few Robbins' pieces.

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It was indeed a very, very good documentary! I rarely sit still for anything 2 hours long with no breaks, but, I did for that one. :D

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Check your local PBS listings. It's being re-played. In the Boston area, it's on again today at 1:30 p.m. as well as other times Sunday and Monday.

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I really enjoyed the Robbins documentary. I especially enjoyed seeing NYCB clips- Dances at a Gathering and the other ballets that I had seen numerous times when I lived in NYC in the 70's. It brought back a lot of memories.

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