About two and a half years ago, we were wondering here on Foot why opera is more likely to generate a buzz than ballet, its dance equivalent. Inevitably we ended up talking about dance recordings and whether they could ever be as good as opera recordings, with some of us feeling they couldn’t and others of us feeling they basically could and a third feeling that if they were to succeed, it would have to be not as a simulacrum of the live performance but on their own terms.
Anyway, this is all to say: I should have mentioned the annual Dance on Camera Festival, at the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center, weeks ago, because by now it’s almost over!
They have saved some of the best films for last–specifically a preview this Friday at 6:15 p.m. of the long-awaited American Masters documentary on Jerome Robbins, “Something to Dance About,” which will air nationwide on PBS on February 18 (check local listings for the hour), and a “Red Shoes”-cum-“Dybbuk” for the Indian classical dance set, “The Chosen One,” Friday at 3:30 pm and Saturday at 1 p.m.
In both cases there are special guests–for the Robbins, a panel that includes Judy Kinberg (she did all those incredible Balanchine Dance in America programs in the 1970s), Amanda Vaill (who wrote one of the two definitive Robbins bios), and both former and current Robbins dancers.
Call the Walter Reade Theater at 212-727-0764 or click here for details.
UPDATE: I went to the Robbins screening last night, and it was great, as I note here.
If you don’t know much about Robbins beyond “West Side Story,” here is a short feature and interviews
about the man with ballet dancers Wendy Whelan, Damien Woetzel, and, ahem, Mikhail
Baryshnikov, on the occasion of the New York City Ballet’s Robbins
celebration last spring. a