Sunday, October 14, 2007

This Week in Dance History: October 8-14

Oct 8, 1961: Jerome Robbins Ballet USA, which consisted of The Concert, Afternoon of a Fawn, and New York Export: Opus Jazz Moves, opened on Broadway at the ANTA Playhouse. It ran for 24 performaces.

October 9, 1972: Broadway premiere of "Dude" The Motorcycle Musical.

October 10, 1684: Birth of artist Antoine Watteau, whose work reflects the influence of the opéra ballet. (The link takes you to his biography on the Web page of the Metropolitan Museum of Art where you can also find an essay on the theme of ballet in art.)

October 11, 1918: Jerome Robbins was born. He went on to choreograph thirteen Broadway shows including On the Town, The King and I, Peter Pan, Gypsy, and Fiddler on the Roof and to directed, and choreograph the musical and film West Side Story and the quintessentially American ballet Fancy Free. (The clip below shows a performance of a scene from West Side Story at a Tony Awards telecast)

Oct 12, 1892: Imre Kiralfy creates a "grand dramatic, operatic, and ballet spectacle" to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Columbus' arrival in America.

Oct 13, 1998: Victor Ullate's Ballet de la Comunidad de Madrid becomes the first Spanish ballet company to present the full-length "Don Quixote" in the United States.

October 14, 1939: The film "On Your Toes" is released. The film is the story of a vaudevillian who convinces a visiting Russian director to compose a ballet called "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue."