On 11 October this year marks the 100 years since the birth of Jerome Robbins, one of the greats in American and world ballet. His name is associated with both classical and jazz dance, with the Broadway stage and those of the leading ballet companies in the US, as well as with film choreography and directing. And even though he has not been among us for 20 for many years, he continues to be present in the dance world through his timeless works that have placed him alongside names such as George Balanchine and William Forsyth.

Jerome was born in Manhattan under the Rabinowitz family, who was later replaced by Robins because of a family business. His second name, Wilson, was given because of the great patriotism of his parents and their respect for the then president. His family later moved to New Jersey, where his father and uncle set up a corset manufacturing company. As a worthy heir, the company should be transferred to his hands, but Jerome understands from a young age that this is not his calling. He is too artistic and attracted to ballet and puppetry, especially after seeing his sister dance at Stravinsky's Parsley. Thus, thanks to his sister and a summer art camp, he discovered the magic and beauty of theater and dance and began his journey to great art.

Robbins became seriously involved in modern ballet in high school with Alice Bentley, for whom she later shared: "What she gave me is the absolute freedom to do my own dances, without bans and doubts." first goes on stage as a dancer on The Tamin (The Taminent Regular Democratic Club), and more recently in Broadway performances - "Great Lady" and "Keep Off the Grass", where he is honored to work with his greatest idol, George Balanchine, on his choreographies. From 1941 to 1944 he has been a soloist at the American Ballet Theater - a leading company to this day.

In 1944 he created the ballet "Fancy free", which is included in the program of the Metropolitan Opera. There are many titles: "On the Town", "Billion Dollar Baby", "High Button Shoes", "Look, Ma, I'm Dancin" and many others, in which the choreographer sculpts his handwriting.

Jerome Robbins also creates some of the most impressive and original choreographies of the musicals: "On the Town", "Peter Pan", "High Button Shoes", "The King And I", "The Pajama Game", "Bells Are Ringing" , "GYPSY - Fiddler on the Roof," and of course, "West Side Story," this great masterpiece, both musically and dance-wise.

"West Side Story" comes from the idea of ​​Robins and Arthur Laurens, both screenwriters of the musical, to portray Romeo and Juliet in modern America - something very bold and risky. They catch bass with Bernstein and not long after, the result is on the face - a stunning spectacle, which in the 1961 also comes with a movie version. Everyone who watched it is sure to remain delighted with the choreography. What Robins does in West Side Story is like a textbook. The music of Leonard Bernstein is extremely difficult to turn into a dance, because there is no constant rhythm, it is constantly changing. Each tone of the piece is different from the previous one, but Jerome manages to capture it and unfold it in the choreography. Only one true fan is able to make a dance of Bernstein's music. After that, many choreographers tried, but to no avail.

There is no way in our minds that the prologue will emerge, where the exceptional innovation of the choreographer is evident in this first scene. Robins paints everything in the plot with his movements - the scuffle of Americans and Puerto Ricans, with each movement being both a blow to the enemy or a defense and a dance, an infinitely beautiful and light dance that indulges in few dancers. The garage scene, the introduction and of course the famous America are masterpieces. Men and women make fun of it, and the three pirates are executed as airily as anyone could do in an instant. An incredible unity of music and choreography that adds to the brilliance of Bernstein's exceptional music - memorable and exciting.

In his choreographies, Robbins does not try to emphasize and boldly emphasize the perfect technique of the dancers, using always complex movements. He chooses simpler elements and breaks down the form to get that mix of dance and acting that a big musical needs. And as you can see, simple solutions are often the best.
The awards are not late. Jerome received the Tony Award for the entire 5 times, 2 won Academy Awards - also known as the Oscar, Kennedy Center Honor, National Medal of the Arts, Honor from the French a legion and honorary membership of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. He has been honored with the title of "Honorary Doctor" by the City University of New York and "Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts" by New York University.

But the issue is not the number of awards or ballets, but their quality. Absolutist, Jerome is easy to get nervous, but he always finishes the details. He often jokes and jokes with his dancers, but he keeps on giving the art full, at least while they're in the hall.

Peter Ball, one of Robins' students, remembers the words of his teacher in a distant rehearsal when he was 10 years old: "Remember, you're an Indian scout moving through the woods trying not to make any sound. When stepping, you have to be very careful so that you do not break even one branch under your feet. Did it become clear? "
Jerome has an incredible ability to describe things so clearly that you can really imagine yourself stepping into this imaginary forest.

After a stroke, Jerome Robbins died at his home in New York on 29 on July 1998. On the evening of his death, Broadway lights went out, in tribute.

This year, on the occasion of 100's birth anniversary and 20's death, many festivals and celebrations are coming up - in Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle, Miami, Paris, New York. Perhaps most notable is the Robbins Festival, run by the Pacific Northwest Ballet, whose current artistic director is the same 10 year-old boy who was admired by his teacher, Peter Ball. The program includes Robins' 7 works - "In the night," "The Concert, Dancers at the Gathering," "Chopin's Other Dances," Bernstein's West Side Story, "Afternoon of a Faun," Debussy, " Circus Polka ”- Igor Stravinsky. "Other dances", which first premiered on 9 on May 1976, was created specifically for Mikhail Baryshnikov and Natalia Makarova - big names in classical ballet. He also works with Barishnikov Robins at The Concert, and it seems that Michael takes on a specific teaching character.

I have wondered many times - what makes a choreographer great, why some names remain for ages and others do not even achieve instant glory? And the answer seems to be to us. The ability to explain, to create images and pictures in the heads of dancers, to make them dream in dance - to master the perfection of dance with your own hands. This is great! Great is not the choreographer who wants to put his name in a "golden frame and millions of lights", but one who, with the price of full dedication, seeks to delve into the spirit of his dancers and make them believe that everything is easy , anything is possible.

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