Jerome Robbins would have been 100 years old on October 11, 2018. Photo by Frederic Ohringer, Courtesy DM Archives

Celebrate Jerome Robbins' Would-Be 100th Birthday With 10 Rarely-Seen Photos

2018 has seen an endless parade of celebrations in anticipation of Jerome Robbins' centennial—and now the day has finally arrived. In honor of what would have been his 100th birthday, we dove into our photo archives and selected a few favorite shots of the choreographer whose career defined (and redefined) American dance.


A young Robbins, 1944

Photo courtesy DM Archives

Robbins with Nancy Walker, the lead in his 1948 Broadway musical Look, Ma, I'm Dancin'!

Photo by Eileen Darby, Courtesy DM Archives

Robbins in Balanchine's Tyl Ulenspiegel, 1951

Photo by Walter E. Owen, Courtesy DM Archives

A rehearsal for The Concert (or, The Perils of Everybody), 1960

Photo by CBS Television Network, Courtesy DM Archives

Robbins (center) rehearsing West Side Story

Photo by Friedman-Abeles, Courtesy DM Archives

Robbins giving notes to Maria Karnilova and Zero Mostel, of the 1964 Broadway cast of Fiddler on the Roof

Photo by Eileen Darby-Graphic House, Courtesy DM Archives

Robbins (left) with Balanchine (bottom left) and the choreographers for NYCB's 1972 Stravinsky Festival

Photo courtesy DM Archives

Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Paolo Bortoluzzi, Malika Sabirova, Violette Verdy, Muzafar Bourkhanov, Robbins, Antoinette Sibley, Antony Dowell, Patricia McBride, Helgi Tomasson and Carla Fracci at the Spoleto Festival, 1973

Photo by Lionello Fabbri, Courtesy DM Archives

Robbins and Antoinette Sibley rehearse his Afternoon of a Faun

Photo by Michael Childers, Courtesy DM Archives

Carmen de Lavallade and Robbins chat with Yves St. Laurent

Photo by Whitestone Photo, Courtesy DM Archives

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What Copyright Protections Do Choreographers Have Over Their Work?

When choreography is created, is it protected by copyright? Yes and no.

JaQuel Knight is facing this question today in his journey to copyright his iconic choreographic work with artists like Beyoncé and Megan Thee Stallion. Thanks to U.S. copyright law, the process has not been easy. Through a partnership with the Dance Notation Bureau, Knight has been working with Lynne Weber to put his work into Labanotation. On July 9, 2020, he received an approved registered copyright for his "Single Ladies" choreography, making him the first commercial choreographer in pop music to succeed in copyrighting his work.

Understanding the challenges in making this happen requires a close look at the history of U.S. copyright law. Here's what dancemakers should know about the background of copyright, how they can register their work and what more could be done to legally protect dance.

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February 2021