The Remarkable Legacy of Jerome Robbins

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Jerome Robbins was born on October 11, 1918, in Wisconsin, New Jersey, USA. He has a strong interest in dance since he was a child and is deeply fascinated by the art of expressing his inner rich emotional world through his body language, dreaming of becoming a professional dancer in the future. It is this dream that drives his constant struggle in the years to come, thus writing a magical chapter for Broadway and even the American dance community.

Robbins began dancing in the first year of college at New York University when he was a student in the Department of Chemistry. By 1940, he joined the American Ballet Theatre with good performance. In April 1944, the musical 'Luxury of Liberty' performed by Jerome Robbins as the dance design of the American Ballet Theatre premiered at the Metropolitan Opera. Robbins used to dance to describe the youth gangs of excess energy, aggressiveness, hostility and reluctance, and even the fighting between them. This is a brand new dance beauty. He was the first person to participate in the script conception and was the director and dance designer. It was an important reason for the uniqueness and success of the show. Since then, he has also served as director and dance designer in two famous plays, Gypsy and Fiddler on the Roof. Jerez Robbins has worked in the live music scene for more than 20 years, after which he returned to the world of quiet classical ballet, using the rest of his time to create for the New York Ballet. He is partnering with the dance art master George Balanchine. In 1989, Jerome Robbins hosted Jerome Robbins`Broadway. It contains a large number of works created by Jerez Robbins as a dance design and the music that works with it. It is a musical with no specific storyline and plays 634 games.

Jerome Robbins has always wanted to introduce ballet to a genuine Broadway musical. After several years of hard work, he is already a leading artist in the musical circle. He designed 'On the town', 'High button shoes', 'Miss Liberty', 'Call me madam', 'King and me' and the dance of Billion Dollar Baby. His most famous dance work is “West Side Story”.

Although Robbins was chemistry at New York University, it did not prevent him from loving and trying to dance. He used his spare time in the university to conduct professional dance training and laid a solid foundation. At the same time, he took full advantage of all the opportunities in the university and actively participated in dance-related after-school activities. He participated in several small pieces of music several times during his studies. The rehearsal and performance of the play, as well as the group dance actors in the play, which enabled him to accumulate rich professional experience for choreography and dance instruction in the future. From the beginning, Robbins had a clear and persistent understanding of his future, so that when he graduated from college, he did not become a chemist, but he entered the American Ballet Theatre with his own strength. He was only 22 years old at the time.

Robbins quickly gained a foothold in the Ballet Theatre and soon rose from a group dancer to a solo dancer. Many senior dancers believe that this young man's future is limitless. However, Robbins is not satisfied with merely becoming a good dancer. He hopes that his own ideas and guidance can be expressed on the stage through his own understanding of music and works. It is this strong desire to create that drives Rogers step by step into the musical. It can be said that the beginning of Robbins' Broadway career is very smooth and lucky. He made a good debut in the 1944 'On the Town' as a dance designer's debut. The work was directed by George Abbott and the young Bernstein composing. Its blueprint is the ballet 'Fancy-Free' created by Bernstein and Robbins for the American Ballet Theatre the previous year. With the last experience of cooperation, the two people worked together very well. This work has become a typical Broadway production with the creation of two imaginative young people and experienced Abbott: both orders The funny plots of people laughing and laughing, and the romantic and delicate emotional descriptions; Bernstein's catchy melody and Robin's hot and exciting tap dancing scenes complement each other, the first performance was successfully played 463 games.

It was a great encouragement for Robbins to get such an ideal result when he first entered the musical. In the field of musical choreography, he feels that he can better use his strengths and be more comfortable here. 'Jincheng Spring' is a turning point in Robbins' career. Since then, he has put more energy into the dance choreography of musicals.

For the next 15 years, Robbins basically worked with Abbott to dance for many of his works such as High Button Shoes and Call Me Madam. Design and programming, and achieved good results. Like 'High Heels' in 1947 on Broadway premiere, it has achieved 727 performances. In terms of creation, Abbott gave the young man enough power to cultivate this rising star to inherit his clothes. This is evident from the following short story: Jule Styne is the composer for High Heels, and Stein is already famous for the young Robbins. After completing the framework of the entire tune and some of the main songs, Stein handed over some of the dance music he thought was not important to the pianist. However, after Robbins discovered it, he insisted that Stein to complete the dance music alone, because he thought that dance music is also an important part of the whole work song, and only by the composer to complete the consistency and consistency.

Stein didn't put this young man in the first place, just said, you want dance music, then you go to Bernstein! Who knows that Robbins doesn't buy his account at all, just tells coldly that type and amount of dance music that Tyne wanted. And tell the composer that if he can't write it, he has to close him in a workplace until he writes it. In the face of such a choreographer, Stein had to give in and personally completed the dance music creation of this work, which was rare in the creative world at that time, because more is done directly by the pianist. But it was also because of Robbins' insistence that Stein wrote the famous ballet 'Keystone Kops Ballet'. Since then, Robbins has repeatedly used this method to 'squeeze out' many beautiful songs from Stein, like he later in 'Gypsy', 'Funny Girl' and 'Bell'. Many of the outstanding dance music in Bells Are Ringing were produced under Robbins' 'compulsory'.

In art, Robbins's requirements are always very demanding. He is a perfectionist, and if he thinks that the actor's performance does not meet his requirements, he will continue to ask for rehearsal. His harsh words often make some actors shed tears, so he also became an 'unwelcome' person in the troupe, but this is more limited to the pursuit and understanding of art. It’s rare that actors trade him as an enemy by that.In order to make Robbins able to create his own work in the future, Abbott arranged Robbins as an executive director in The 1954 'The Pajama Game'. But Robbins has long proved that he is more than just a simple dance designer. When I rehearsed 'Mrs. My Lady' in 1950, there was a match over duo 'You're Just In Love' that needed stage design. There were many different ways to arrange a discussion about the scene. opinion. At this time Robbins found the director Irving Berlin. He thought that he had a very accurate grasp of the song. He didn't have to design complicated props and sets for it as most people insisted. No special need. The lights, costumes, and even dances are enough as long as the actors sing on the stage. [Ibid. Berlin was shocked by this suggestion at the time, but Robbins still insisted on his opinion that he could not use anything else to interfere with the interpretation of the song. Simple is beautiful. Berlin withstood the pressure to accept this bizarre idea. The practice has proved how correct this process is: during the performance, the applause of the audience repeatedly interrupted the performance, and the young man’s confident and stubborn image is also deep. Staying in the minds of Berlin and others, Robbins has proven himself to be able to direct a work independently.

In 1954, Robbins also tried to direct and independently choreographed Peter Pan. There are several versions of this play, and the collaboration between Robbins and Julie Stein has only been played for 152 games. But this setback did not intimidate Robbins. In 1956, Robbins independently directed his first play, 'The Bells.' This is more traditional work, and Robbins still arranges the plot, songs, and dances in the way he learned from Abbott. In order to avoid becoming a dance-oriented director, he and the dancers discuss the physical performance of the stage and discuss the arrangement of songs and soundtracks with the vocal actors alone. In this work, he collaborated with another famous dance designer Bob Foss, who made bold reforms and innovations in the form and content of the dance, thus showing himself to the audience and his peers. The talent, 'Singer Bells' was also able to play 924 games in a row, which is a very good result for the first directed Robbins, and his choreography with Bob Foss is especially professional. The attention of the people has changed their understanding of the role of dance in musicals. As recognition of Robbins' work, he and Bob Foss were nominated for the 11th Tony Award for best choreography. Although there was no final award, it was a great encouragement for Robbins. Honor and his attempt in this work laid the foundation for his next successful work, “The West Side Story”.

The 'West Side Story' premiered on September 26, 1957, although the score of 732 consecutive performances at the time of the performance was not only now, but also very common at the time, today this work has become a universally recognized masterpiece. The dance design of Robbins in this work is regarded as the classic of the stage art of the musical, and the status of Robbins is also laid by virtue of this work.

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In the 'West Side Story', Robbins has unprecedentedly set the title of 'screenwriter, choreographer, and director'. This play that runs through liberalism is very natural in the plot of the plot. Although its music is only half the length of traditional works, it is not enough to explain the background, but the dance designed by Robbins for the play has become the biggest attraction of the show, and it has become the most talked about by posterity and drama critics. of. It is no exaggeration to say that Robbins has set a new standard for the dance of the musical stage through the 'West Side Story', which has also become a milestone in the development of Broadway musicals.

The reason why the dance in The Story of the West is so high is not only because of the grandness and excitement of its dance scene but because of the many dances that are so reasonable and well-organized under the ingenious arrangement of Robbins. From the passionate Cuban black Mambos to the solemn and noble ballet, to the tap dancing of the street teenagers, every dance action made by each character seems to be just right. Created by the genius of Robbins. Through the connection of dance, this work will not flow through the combination of pure music and song and dance, but it is complete and smooth from beginning to end, and it is a musical in the true sense.

Although another Broadway masterpiece 'Musicians' grabbed the limelight of 'Western Story' to a certain extent, Robbins's extraordinary performance in this play was fully affirmed. He is the most powerful proof of his best dance choreographer award for the Tony Awards. In the history of Broadway musicals, The West Side Story is a classic work. Among them, the dance creation is the most beautiful scenery, which has long been regarded as one of the highest examples of musical dance creation. Robbins also relies on this work to become the leader of the Broadway dance industry.

But Robbins's 'Rose of the Rose' is unexpected, although it is also a very successful classic, it seems to have little connection with Robbins' last masterpiece. This is a musical in the traditional sense. Music and scripts take up a lot of drama, and there is nothing amazing about dance. In fact, the creative team of the play has basically not changed much compared with the 'Western District Story'. The increasingly mature Sondheim continues to create drama, and Lawrence is responsible for the script, but Stein replaced the versatile Bernstein. Composing, but Stein is now a big deal and a veteran with rich creative experience. So why is this work so different from the previous one?

In fact, this work did not meet the original intention of Robbins. When the work premiered on May 21, 1959, he said to Lawrence: 'This is your work, this is a play musical.' At the beginning of his creation, Robbins wanted to rehearse it into a variety show (Vaudeville) in the early stages of the musical. Show your own dance ideas by using tricks, acrobatic moves, and even exaggerated dance forms that mimic animal movements. However, his idea was unanimously opposed by the creative team. They thought that although this was very creative, it was not practical, and it also took into account the market reaction after the work came out. Under the pressure of all parties, Robbins had to give in and put a work that could be redefined as a variety show into a ballet musical. Therefore, although 'Rose of the Rose' finally succeeded, even with the 'West Side Story' became another representative of Robbins, but it’s still pity for Robbins himself, for the development of musicals.

Another highlight of the 'Rose of the Roses' drama is that Robbins boldly used the young actor Essor Moman. At that time, although Moman had already emerged, still a small generation in Broadway which shines in the stars, Robbins saw her potential and talent, appointed her as the heroine of the show, and tailored and arranged many tracks for her, many of which became later classics. Moman did not live up to the trust of Robbins and conquered the audiences by her excellent singing and extraordinary stage charm. She became popular in Broadway since the 'Rose Dance'.

Five years later, in 1964, Robbins ushered in the most brilliant culmination of his artistic career and life. His other masterpiece, 'Fiddler on the Roof,' premiered on Broadway in New York on September 22 of the year. Although he still has not completely solved the problem faced by Broadway musicals - the script is more suitable as a drama rather than a musical, but in this work, he has raised the status of music and dance to a new height. This kind of innovation can be a huge challenge for the traditional Book Musical. It can be said that without the 'Fiddler on the Roof', there will be no later conceptual music such as 'Hotel', 'Partners', 'Folly Show' and 'Singing and Dancing Online'.

The Fiddler on the Roof began its amazing success journey from the beginning, and it created a record of 3,242 performances on Broadway! Robbins was once again honored for his outstanding performance in this work. Best Director Award and Best Dance Choreography Award at the 19th Tony Awards. 'Fiddler on the Roof' can be said to have a comprehensive interpretation and display of musicals. It proves that on the stage of musicals, the combination of popularity and artistry can be perfectly combined to achieve true elegance and popularity. Although the master team of this work is a brand new combination, no one can challenge the authority of Robbins. He can arrange the whole work according to his own ideas.

In this work, Robbins put the story on the background of the Russian persecution of Jews. The quiet pace of life in the village of Anatfka was broken, and the old Tewei family was forced to leave their homes. This arrangement made the play a stage masterpiece that deeply reflected the social reality after the 'Western District Story'. It shows the Jewish destiny and misfortune through a relaxed and witty tone and has issued a powerful complaint against the unfair social situation.

In this work, Robbins demonstrates his deep and in-depth grasp of Jewish culture, making this work an ode to Jewish history and spirit. In order to better reflect the original culture of the Jewish nation, Robbins went deep into the Jewish quarters of the United States and even went to Russia to observe life. The rehearsal has not yet begun, he knows the customs of the Russian nation and the Jewish nation. In this way, during the rehearsal, he will be able to handle it with ease. In the dance, Robbins fully retains the customs and rituals of the Jewish Hasidic sect. His plot arrangement, stage set, and even wedding ceremonies, religious ceremonies and costumes strictly comply. In the play, Robbins fully integrated the folk dance materials and vocabulary of these two peoples. The dance scenes in the drama show a strong ethnic customs everywhere, like the lively and hilarious Russian folk dance in the play and the tasteful Jewish wedding bottle dance, which left a deep impression. Of course, Robbins does not simply copy and copy. He closely combines the contemporary characteristics of national culture and making the dance segments in the drama have a distinct atmosphere of the times.

Although Robbins later helped to modify the 'Funny Girl' and directed two other unsuccessful works - 'Mother Courage' and 'The Office', But the 'Fiddler on the Roof' is generally regarded as his swan song on Broadway. After a triumphant victory in the 'House' drama, Robbins left the Broadway musical stage, first accepting a donation of $300,000 from the National Endowment Center for the creation of his American musical laboratory. But after more than two years, his lab has nothing new to introduce except for the adaptation of The Exception and the Rule.

After that, Robbins returned to the classical ballet world and returned to the New York Ballet as a choreographer, working with the famous dance master George Balanchine to create a ballet. In this way, Robbins, who grew up from classical dance and returned to this familiar stage after he became famous. Just as Robbins inherited Abbott’s robes, after Robbins retired from Broadway, Prince and Bob Foss provoked the banner of realism and conceptual drama and promoted musicals. Enter the era of directors. It can be said that Robbins's creative experience has greatly enriched the content of musicals and effectively promoted the development of musicals. Many latecomers interpreted Robbins with reverence. It is because of his existence that the relationship between dance and musical drama is so close, and dance plays an indispensable role in musicals and becomes an important part and means of expression of musicals.

With the appeal and support of people, the evening party that included Robins's creations for more than 20 years - 'Jerome Robbins's Broadway' was on February 26, 1989. New York staged, this work reproduces the development of musical dance art from the 1940s to the 1960s through the famous dance pieces and dance scenes in the musicals created by Robbins. For Robbins, It is undoubtedly a great encouragement and affirmation, which has drawn a successful conclusion to his Broadway career.

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