As part of its spring 2018 season, New York City Ballet will present a world-premiere tribute to the late Jerome Robbins.
Created by director and Tony-winning choreographer Warren Carlyle (After Midnight), the performance honors the 100th anniversary of Robbins’ birth. The ballet, which incorporates original choreography from West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, Gypsy, Billion Dollar Baby, The King and I, Peter Pan, Funny Girl, and On the Town, will debut May 3 at the NYCB Spring Gala. Thirty Company dancers will perform the work, set to music and lyrics from the scores of each of the musicals.
As a co-founding choreographer of the New York City Ballet, Robbins will be recognized throughout the Spring Season with Robbins 100, a three-week celebration through May 20 featuring 19 works created by the five-time Tony winner.
The May 3 program will include a second world premiere by Justin Peck set to a score by Leonard Bernstein in honor of Bernstein and Robbins.
Born October 11, 1918, Robbins began his ballet career in 1940 with Ballet Theatre. In 1944, he choreographed his first-ever ballet for the Company: Fancy Free. Fancy Free led to the Betty Comden-Adolph Green On the Town when Robbins teamed up with the duo and Bernstein, marking Robbins’ first Broadway musical. Recruited by George Balanchine, Robbins joined NYCB in 1949 as associate artistic director, departing ten years later to focus on the theatre. But in 1969, he returned to the NYCB, where he remained a choreographer and co-ballet master in chief alongside Peter Martins from 1983 to 1989.
Throughout his career, Robbins received two Oscars (one for the direction of West Side Story, the other an honorary award for his achievements in choreography on film) in addition to his Tonys. He won Tony Awards for his choreography of High Button Shoes, West Side Story, and Fiddler on the Roof, as well as two directing Tonys for Fiddler and Jerome Robbins’ Broadway. He received the Handel Medallion of the City of New York in 1976, a Kennedy Center Honor in 1981, and the National Medal of the Arts in 1988.
For more information about the New York City Ballet season and Robbins 100, click here.