I love all types of dance and lately, haven’t seen enough live performances. I watched ‘Something to Dance About‘ last night on PBS, a biography about Jerome Robbins. The choreographer who partnered with Leonard Bernstein on West Side Story, directed Peter Pan, Fiddler on the Roof, Gypsy, and so many other wonderful musicals and ballets. My dad took us into NY to see Peter Pan on Broadway when I was 5, Mary Martin flying across the stage, singing ‘I won’t grow up’. NBC broadcast it a year later with Robbins on board as director. It was NBC’s first Broadway production in color and had a then record audience of 65 million.
He mentions in the documentary that no one would produce West Side Story, and it took 3 years to get to stage. Hard to believe now. There are some fantastic video interviews on the PBS site with those who knew and worked with Robbins, a demanding perfectionist.
Here in Debussy’s Afternoon of a Faun, is one of Robbins’ muses, the great Tanaquil LeClercq, whose ballet career was tragically cut short by polio. Jacques D’Amboise is her partner.
and then there’s Rudolph Nureyev, the God of Dance. Atlanta 1982, with the Boston Ballet in Don Quixote – I was lucky enough to see him before he died. The Russian Years is another PBS program featuring the great dancer and I hope the DVD arrives in time for my next birthday….