by Caitlin Meehan
Jerome Robbins, American theatre producer, director, and choreographer was born on October 11th, 1918. He would have been 95 this year! Though Mr. Robbins passed away in 1998, he had a long and eventful career.
He is known best for his broadway and ballet choreography, though he also directed films as well as some television. His main body of work ranges from classical ballet to contemporary musical theatre (West Side Story, anyone??) Even if you didn't realize it, you have probably seen or even learned some of his choreography!
More than 60 ballets were created by Mr. Robbins, including Fancy Free and
Afternoon of a Faun, both of which are currently among the repertory of Boston Ballet- and which I have had the pleasure of seeing live! His Broadway creations include
On the Town (which further develops the story of Fancy Free,) Billion Dollar Baby, High Button Shoes, The King and I, Gypsy, Peter Pan, Miss Liberty, Call Me Madam, Fiddler on the Roof, and of course West Side Story, for which he won 2 Academy Awards for the film version. Also among his accolades are 4 Tony awards, 5 Donaldson awards, 2 Emmy awards, the Screen Directors' Guild Award, and the New York Drama Critics Circle award. Not too shabby!
Jerome Robbins' work is still celebrated and relevant today, as the world's premiere ballet companies present it to audiences far and wide, and the musicals containing his work run on Broadway.
Happy Birthday Mr. Robbins!
A very Happy Birthday to the rest of our October birthdays, Julie Andrews, Edward Villella, Jimmy Slyde, Mahatma Gandhi, Erik Brunh, Chubby Checker, Jason Samuels Smith, Kathryn Dunkel, Jean-Francois Millet, Nicole Harris, Doris Humphrey, Meera Jo Smith, Karen Krolak, Sarah Bernhardt, Michael Sao Pedro, Rita Hayworth, Giuseppe Verdi, Fayard Nicholas, Joan Green, Ben Vereen, Celia Cruz, Peter Martins, LuAnn Pagella, Najeeb Terazzi, Tina Fratello, Max Stone, Parker Hall, and Michael Cox!