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Jerome Robbins: Shall We Dance
Sheryl Flatow

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: October, 2018 marks the centennial of the birth of Jerome Robbins, arguably the most influential Broadway director/choreographer of all time and certainly the greatest American-born ballet choreographer in history. Between 1944 and 1964, Robbins choreographed and/or directed 15 musicals and show-doctored five more. A partial list of his credits includes On the Town, The King and I, Peter Pan, West Side Story, Gypsy, and Fiddler on the Roof. Until just two months before his death in 1998, Robbins also choreographed for the ballet stage.  Among his 67 works are such masterpieces as Fancy Free, Afternoon of a Faun, The Cage, The Concert, Dances at a Gathering, In the Night, In G Major, and Glass Pieces. As a dancer with Ballet Theatre, he often said that he spent too much time in “boots, bloomers, and a peasant wig.” So with his first ballet, Fancy Free (1944), he not only incorporated jazz inflections and familiar, everyday gestures into the movement, but portrayed contemporary American characters behaving in contemporary American fashion. Eight months later, he brought a similarly fresh perspective to Broadway when he choreographed On the Town; never before had so much dance been so well integrated into a musical. Over and over, Robbins demonstrated that the language of dance was as resonant as words and music, equally capable of expressing emotions, defining character, and furthering plot. This series will examine Robbins’ legacy on both the ballet and Broadway stages, and show how his choreography on one stage sometimes influenced his choreography on the other. We will also discuss his often difficult working relationships and his decision to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee.

1. 1944 -1953: Video highlights include excerpts from Fancy Free, The King and I, and Afternoon of a Faun.
2. 1954 -1958: Video highlights include excerpts from Peter Pan, The Concert, West Side Story.
3. 1959 -1964: Video highlights include excerpts from Gypsy and Fiddler on the Roof.
4. 1969 -1998: Video highlights include excerpts from Dances at a Gathering, In the Night, and In G Major.
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Sheryl Flatow has written about theatre and dance for more than 30 years. She curated major exhibitions in San Francisco on Stephen Sondheim, Richard Rodgers, George Gershwin, George Balanchine, and several others. She has led pre-performance talks; moderated panel discussions on theatre and dance; and conducted public interviews with leading figures in the arts, including Patti LuPone, Sheldon Harnick, Natalia Makarova and Estelle Parsons. She also wrote the CD liner notes for Into the Woods and Jerome Robbins' Broadway. She has lectured at OLLI/FAU for several semesters.

Time: 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Date: Mondays, January 8, 22, 29; February 5
Location: Barry and Florence Friedberg Auditorium, Boca Raton Campus
Fees: Member - $50
Non-member - $65
Cash will no longer be accepted as payment for lectures.

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