Bernstein and Robbins
Title Details

21st January 2021

323 Pages

15.24 x 22.86 cm

14 b/w. 62 line. Illustrations

Series: Eastman Studies in Music

Imprint: University of Rochester Press

Bernstein and Robbins

The Early Ballets

by Sophie Redfern

  • Description
  • Contents
The formative early ballets of West Side Story creators Leonard Bernstein and Jerome Robbins explored in detail for the very first time.
Leonard Bernstein and choreographer Jerome Robbins stand as giants of the musical-theatre world, but it was ballet that launched their stage careers and established their relationship. With Fancy Free (1944), their triumphant debut collaboration produced by Ballet Theatre, Bernstein, Robbins, and set designer Oliver Smith-all in their mid-twenties- captured the spirit of wartime New York, created a defining ballet of the period still widely performed today, and became overnight sensations. The hit musical On the Town (1944) and a now largely forgotten ballet, Facsimile (1946), followed over the next two years.

Drawing extensively on previously unpublished archival documents, Bernstein and Robbins: The Early Ballets provides a richly detailed and original historical account of the creation, premiere, and reception of Fancy Free and Facsimile. It reveals the vital and sometimes conflicting role of Ballet Theatre, explores how Bernstein composed the scores, sheds light on the central importance of Oliver Smith, and considers the legacy of these works for all involved. The result is a new understanding of Bernstein, Robbins, and this formative period in their lives.

SOPHIE REDFERN is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield, UK and Curator for the European Opera Centre.
Introduction
Setting the Scene: American Ballet and Jerome Robbins
Towards a First Ballet: Fancy Free Takes Shape
Creating Fancy Free: A Long-Distance Collaboration
The Music of Fancy Free: The Sketches and Score Explored
The Fancy Free Premiere and a Move to Broadway
Towards a Second Ballet: Bye Bye Jackie and the Creation of Facsimile
The Music of Facsimile: The Sketches and Score Explored
The Facsimile Premiere and Legacy of the Ballets
Epilogue: Bernstein and Dance
Bibliography
Index

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Title Details

21st January 2021

323 Pages

1.52 x 2.29 cm

14 b/w. 62 line. Illustrations

Series: Eastman Studies in Music

Imprint: University of Rochester Press