I am constantly walking around with my headphones in, my current favorite song on repeat, choreographing in my head. It’s one of my favorite ways to de-stress, and it’s one of the main reasons I so often walk into things. Anyway, it’s a regular occurrence that I realize the performance happening in my head is heavily influenced by if not directly stolen from the iconic choreography of Jerome Robbins. I have been a fan of his joyful, powerful choreography for nearly all of my life, and I would have to say that his work has more profoundly affected my taste and style (of dance) more than anyone else, even Bob Fosse (who runs a pretty close second).
Of course, he’s best known for West Side Story, but that’s not all. On the Town, Pajama Game, The King And I, Gypsy, Fiddler on the Roof, the list of Broadway shows for which he created iconic dances goes on and on.
Here’s a great mini-documentary City Ballet did about Robbins featuring another of my idols, Peter Martins.
And, because once I start, I can’t stop, here’s Jerome Robbins’ comic ballet, “The Concert or The Perils of Everybody,” in its entirety. I couldn’t find City Ballet’s version, but this one by Opéra National de Paris is quite good, too! In case you’re on the fence about committing half an hour to watching it, I will tell you it’s the only ballet I know of that includes a ballerina scratching her ass. I am not making that up. If you’re still not up for the whole thing, I strongly recommend you at least watch the Mistake Waltz.