News

Round Robbins: How the Dance World is Celebrating Jerome Robbins' 100th Birthday

Miami City Ballet in Jerome Robbins' West Side Story Suite. Photo by Daniel Azoulay, Courtesy MCB

From the over-the-top antics of Fancy Free to the stylized realism of West Side Story, the discomfiting world of The Cage to the poignant humanity of Dances at a Gathering, the work of Jerome Robbins redefined what American dance could be. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth, ballet companies across the country are performing his iconic works throughout the year. Here are a few of our favorites, but keep your eyes peeled for more Robbins tributes in 2018.


Miami City Ballet

MCB dancers channel their silly sides for Robbins' The Concert (or, the Perils of Everybody). Photo by Gene Schiavone, Courtesy MCB

MCB's Jerome Robbins Celebration features Circus Polka, The Cage, Other Dances, In the Night and West Side Story Suite, classics spanning over 40 years and illustrating the master's stylistic range. In a delightful twist, Circus Polka will feature artistic director Lourdes Lopez in the role of Ringmaster, making her the first woman ever to perform the part originated by Robbins himself. Miami, Jan. 12–14. Fort Lauderdale, Jan. 27–28. West Palm Beach, Feb. 2–4. For a bonus Robbins treat, his comic masterpiece The Concert (or, the Perils of Everybody) will be performed on a later program with works by George Balanchine and Brian Brooks. Miami, Feb. 9–11. West Palm Beach, March 2–4. Fort Lauderdale, March 17–18. miamicityballet.org.

Joffrey Ballet

As part of its Modern Masters program, Joffrey Ballet will present the Chicago premiere of Glass Pieces, set to music by Philip Glass. The angular athleticism of the work, danced by a cast of 42, draws the subtly shifting repetitions in Glass' compositions into focus. Chicago, Feb. 7–18. joffrey.org.

San Francisco Ballet

SFB in Robbins' Fancy Free. Photo by Erik Tomasson, via sfballet.org.

Opus 19/The Dreamer, The Cage, Other Dances and Fancy Free are on the program for SFB's Robbins: Ballet & Broadway. Fancy Free, Robbins' breakout 1944 ballet that later inspired the musical On the Town, is set to music by Leonard Bernstein, whose 100th birthday is also celebrated this year. San Francisco, March 20–25. sfballet.org.

New York City Ballet

Of course NYCB is going all out to honor one of its co-founding choreographers. The Robbins 100 celebration boasts 19 works by the master arrayed in six programs over three weeks, plus a world premiere by resident choreographer Justin Peck inspired by Robbins and set to the music of Bernstein in honor of both men's centennials. New York City, May 3–20. nycballet.com.

And a whole lot more...

Nelson Madrigal and Whitney Jensen in Robbins' Afternoon of a Faun. Photo by Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy Boston Ballet

There's so much going on that we're not even sure we know about all of it, but here are some of the organizations planning performances, film screenings, exhibitions or other events celebrating Robbins this year. Keep an eye on individual websites and the Jerome Robbins Foundation as details and additional events are announced.

New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
Stuttgart Ballet
New York Theatre Ballet
Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre
The Muny
Les Étés de la Danse
Boston Ballet
Dutch National Ballet
Pacific Northwest Ballet
Paris Opéra Ballet
Brooklyn Academy of Music
Houston Ballet
Dance on Camera Festival
The Paley Center for Media
92nd Street Y
Spoleto Festival USA

Related Articles Around the Web
From Your Site Articles
    The Conversation
    Just for Fun

    As Dance Magazine editors, we admittedly spend more time than we'd like sifting through stock photography. Some of it is good, more of it is bad and most of it is just plain awkward.

    But when paired with the right caption, those shots magically transform from head-scratchers to meme-worthy images that illustrate our singular experience as dancers. You can thank the internet for this special salute to dancer moods.

    Keep reading... Show less
    Career Advice
    Wayne McGregor. Photo by Johan Persson, Courtesy ROH

    It's no surprise that dancers make some of the best TED Talk presenters. Not only are they great performers, but they've got unique knowledge to share. And they can dance!

    If you're in need of a midweek boost, look no further than these eight presentations from some incredibly inspiring dance artists.

    Keep reading... Show less
    News
    Including this extraordinary Travis Wall number for "So You Think You Can Dance" (Adam Rose/FOX)

    The Primetime Emmy Award nominations are out! Congrats to the seven choreographers who earned nods for their exceptional TV work this year. Notably, that work was made for just two shows, "So You Think You Can Dance" and "World of Dance."

    And there was a particularly remarkable snub: While the dance-filled hit "Fosse/Verdon" earned 17 nominations across many of the major categories, Andy Blankenbuehler's fabulous Fosse remixes weren't recognized in the Outstanding Choreography field.

    Here are all the dance routines up for Emmys:

    Keep reading... Show less
    Rant & Rave

    abezikus/Getty Images

    "Dancers can do everything these days," I announced to whoever was in earshot at the Jacob's Pillow Archives during a recent summer. I had just been dazzled by footage of a ballet dancer performing hip hop, remarkably well. But my very next thought was, What if that isn't always a good thing? What if what one can't do is the very thing that lends character?

    Keep reading... Show less

    mailbox

    Get Dance Magazine in your inbox