Meet Anita Berber, the Cabaret Star Who Scandalized Weimar-Era Berlin

Anita Berber, the taboo-busting, sexually omnivorous, fashion forward, frequently naked star of the Weimar Republic cabaret scene, tops our list of performers we really wish we’d been able to see live.

While Berber acted in 27 films, including Prostitution, director Fritz Lang’s Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler, and Different from the Others, which film critic Dennis Harvey describes as “the first movie to portray homosexual characters beyond the usual innuendo and ridicule,” we have a strong hunch that none of these appearances can compete with the sheer audacity of her stage work.

Audiences at Berlin’s White Mouse cabaret (some wearing black or white masks to conceal their identities) were titillated by her Expressionistic nude solo choreography, as well as the troupe of six teenaged dancers under her command.

As biographer Mel Gordon writes in The Seven Addictions and Five Professions of Anita Berber: Weimar Berlin’s Priestess of Depravity, Berber, often described as a “stripper”, displayed the passion of a serious artist, “respond(ing) to the audience’s heckling with show-stopping obscenities and indecent provocations:”

Berber had been known to spit brandy on them or stand naked on their tables, dousing herself in wine whilst simultaneously urinating… It was not long before the entire cabaret one night sank into a groundswell of shouting, screams and laughter.  Anita jumped off the stage in fuming rage, grabbed the nearest champagne bottle and smashed it over a businessman’s head.

Her collaborations with her second husband, dancer Sebastian Droste, carried Berber into increasingly transgressive territory, both onstage and off.

According to translator Merrill Cole, in the introduction to the 2012 reissue of Dances of Vice, Horror and Ecstasy, a book of Expressionist poems, essays, photographs, and stage designs which Droste and Berber co-authored, “even the biographical details seduce:”

…a bisexual sometimes-prostitute and a shady figure from the male homosexual underworld, united in addiction to cocaine and disdain for bourgeois respectability, both highly talented, Expressionist-trained dancers, both beautiful exhibitionists, set out to provide the Babylon on the Spree with the ultimate experience of depravity, using an art form they had helped to invent for this purpose. Their brief marriage and artistic interaction ended when Droste became desperate for drugs and absconded with Berber’s jewel collection.

This, and the description of Berber’s penchant for “haunt(ing) Weimar Berlin’s hotel lobbies, nightclubs and casinos, radiantly naked except for an elegant sable wrap, a pet monkey hanging from her neck, and a silver brooch packed with cocaine,” do a far more evocative job of resurrecting Berber, the Weimar sensation, than any wordy, blow-by-blow attempt to recreate her shocking performances, though we can’t fault author Karl Toepfer, Professor Emeritus of Theater Arts at San Jose State University, for trying.

In Empire of Ecstasy: Nudity and Movement in German Body Culture, 1910–1935, Toepfer draws heavily on Czech choreographer Joe Jenčík’s eyewitness observations, to reconstruct Berber’s most notorious dance, Cocaine, beginning with the “ominous scenery by Harry Täuber featuring a tall lamp on a low, cloth-covered table:”

This lamp was an expressionist sculpture with an ambiguous form that one could read as a sign of the phallus, an abstraction of the female dancer’s body, or a monumental image of a syringe, for a long, shiny needle protruded from the top of it…It is not clear how nude Berber was when she performed the dance. Jenčík, writing in 1929, flatly stated that she was nude, but the famous Viennese photographer Madame D’Ora (Dora Kalmus) took a picture entitled “Kokain” in which Berber appears in a long black dress that exposes her breasts and whose lacing, up the front, reveals her flesh to below her navel.

In any case, according to Jenčík, she displayed “a simple technique of natural steps and unforced poses.” But though the technique was simple, the dance itself, one of Berber’s most successful creations, was apparently quite complex. Rising from an initial condition of paralysis on the floor (or possibly from the table, as indicated by Täuber’s scenographic notes), she adopted a primal movement involving a slow, sculptured turning of her body, a kind of slow-motion effect. The turning represented the unraveling of a “knot of flesh.” But as the body uncoiled, it convulsed into “separate parts,” producing a variety of rhythms within itself. Berber used all parts of her body to construct a “tragic” conflict between the healthy body and the poisoned body: she made distinct rhythms out of the movement of her muscles; she used “unexpected counter-movements” of her head to create an anguished sense of balance; her “porcelain-colored arms” made hypnotic, pendulumlike movements, like a marionette’s; within the primal turning of her body, there appeared contradictory turns of her wrists, torso, ankles; the rhythm of her breathing fluctuated with dramatic effect; her intense dark eyes followed yet another, slower rhythm; and she introduced the “most refined nuances of agility” in making spasms of sensation ripple through her fingers, nostrils, and lips. Yet, despite all this complexity, she was not afraid of seeming “ridiculous” or “painfully swollen.” The dance concluded when the convulsed dancer attempted to cry out (with the “blood-red opening of the mouth”) and could not. The dancer then hurled herself to the floor and assumed a pose of motionless, drugged sleep. Berber’s dance dramatized the intense ambiguity involved in linking the ecstatic liberation of the body to nudity and rhythmic consciousness. The dance tied ecstatic experience to an encounter with vice (addiction) and horror (acute awareness of death).

A noble attempt, but forgive us if we can’t quite picture it…

And what little evidence has been preserved of her screen appearances exists at a similar remove from  the dark subject matter she explicitly referenced in her choreographed work – Morphine, SuicideThe Corpse on the Dissecting Table…

Cole opines:

There are a number of narrative accounts of her dances, some pinned by professional critics, and almost all commending her talent, finesse, and mesmerizing stage presence. We also have film images from the various silent films in which she played bit parts. There exist, too, many still photographs of Berber and Droste, as well as renditions of Berber by other artists, most prominently the Dadaist Otto Dix’s famous scarlet-saturated portrait. In regard to the naked dances, unfortunately, we have no moving images, no way to watch directly how they were performed.

For a dishy overview of Anita Berber’s personal life, including her alleged dalliances with actress Marlene Dietrich, author Lawrence Durrell, and the King of Yugoslavia, her influential effect on director Leni Riefenstahl, and her sad demise at the age of 29, a “carrion soul that even the hyenas ignored,” take a peek at Victoria Linchong’s biographical essay for Messy Nessy Chic, or better yet, Iron Spike’s Twitter thread.

via Messy Nessy

Ayun Halliday is the Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine and author, most recently, of Creative, Not Famous: The Small Potato Manifesto.  Follow her @AyunHalliday.

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Dick Van Dyke Still Dancing at 96!

Beloved comic actress Betty White left some big shoes to fill last New Year’s Eve when she shocked the world by dying at the tender age of 99.

Who could possibly match her zest for life so many years into it?

Paging Dick Van Dyke

The nimble-footed 96-year-old has yet to host Saturday Night Live, but remains culturally relevant nonetheless, thanks to the enduring popularity of his early work.

His early 60s sitcom, The Dick Van Dyke Show, was a staple of ‘90s-era Nick at Nite.

Even Generation Alpha knows who he is, thanks to his evergreen turn as Bert, the dancing chimneysweep in Mary Poppins (1964).


The physical grace he brought to such musical fare as Bye Bye Birdie and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is something he deliberately strived for as a fan of silent comedy’s greats, and at 96, it’s not something he takes for granted. He began strength training many decades ago, after observing Broadway dancers’ work outs, and maintains a daily regimen of crunches, leg lifts, and hip openers.

Like White, he thrives in the company of younger people.

He’s by far the oldest member of The Vantastix, a barbershop quartet he formed in 2020.

And for those keeping score, he’s 46 years older than his bride of ten years, Arlene Silver, who sings and dances with him in the above video (and directs, too.)

Yes, Van Dyke’s shoulders and torso may have stiffened a bit in the four years since Mary Poppins Returns  found him hopping atop a desk for a spritely soft shoe, but the ease with which he propels himself from a low slung wingback chair at the one-minute mark will strike many viewers as nothing short of miraculous.

(For those admiring the decor, Fallen Fruit’s recent SUPERSHOW installation provided the video’s younger-than-springtime set.)

Van Dyke’s loose limbed appeal is accompanied by a refreshingly flexible attitude, another way in which he models health aging.

A year into his marriage to Silver, he told Parade that they’re so well suited because “she’s very mature for her age, and I’m very immature for my age.”

“Immature in a good way, Silver clarified to HuffPost, “with the wonder of a child”:

He’s just fun, he’s open minded. He’s not stuck in his ways at all.

We take very good care of each other. But, I’m very aware that I have a national treasure on my hands.

No wonder people love him. As proof, witness the twenty-something leaping to their feet to give him an ovation, as he makes his entrance in Disneyland’s 60th-anniversary special six years ago.

12 seconds later, the 90-year-old Van Dyke was also leaping.

“When people tell you you look good in your 90s, what they mean is you don’t look dead,” Van Dyke confided in the late Carl Reiner’s 2017 documentary, If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast:

At 30, I exercised to look good. In my 50s, I exercised to stay fit. In my 70s, to stay ambulatory. In my 80s, to avoid assisted living. Now, in my 90s, I’m just doing it out of pure defiance.

via BoingBoing

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Ayun Halliday is the Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine and author, most recently, of Creative, Not Famous: The Small Potato Manifesto.  Follow her @AyunHalliday.

 

Watch a Joyful Video Where 52 Renowned Choreographers Link Together to Create a Dance Chain Letter

Dance videos are having a moment, fueled in large part by TikTok.

Professionals and amateurs alike use the platform to showcase their work, and while the vast majority of performers seem to be in or barely out of their teens, a few dancing grandmas have become viral stars. (One such notable brushes off the attention, saying she’s just “an elderly lady making a fool of herself.”)

You’ll find a handful of dancers happy to make similar sport of themselves among the 52 celebrated, mostly middle-aged and older choreographers performing in And So Say All of Us, Mitchell Rose‘s chain letter style dance film, above. Witness:

John Heginbotham‘s spritely bowling alley turn, complete with refreshment stand nachos (4:10)…

Doug Varone‘s determination to cram a bit of breakfast in before wafting out of a diner booth (5:15)…

And the responses David Dorfman, who both opens and closes the film, elicits aboard the 2 train and waiting on the platform at Brooklyn’s Atlantic Avenue stop … conveniently situated near commissioning body BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music).


In the summer of 2017 — the same year TikTok launched in the international market — BAM asked filmmaker and former choreographer Rose to create a short film that would feature a number of choreographers whom outgoing Executive Producer Joseph V. Melillo had nurtured over the course of his 35-year tenure.

The result takes the form of an Exquisite Corpse, in which each performer picks up where the performer immediately before left off . Quite a feat when one considers that the contributors were spread all over the globe, and Rose had barely a year to ready the film for its premiere at a gala honoring Melillo.

To get an idea of the degree of coordination and precision editing this entailed, check out Rose’s detailed instructions for Globe Trot, a crowd-sourced “hyper match cut” work in which 50 filmmakers in 23 countries each contributed 2 second clips of non-dancers performing a piece choreographed by Bebe Miller (who appears fourth in And So Say All of Us).

A great pleasure of And So Say All of Us — and it’s a surprising one given how accustomed we’ve grown to peering in on work recorded in artists’ private spaces — is seeing the locations. Terraces and interior spaces still fascinate, though the lack of masks in populous public settings identify this as a decidedly pre-pandemic work.

Other highlights:

The comparative stillness of Eiko and Koma, the only performers to be filmed together (2:19)

Meredith Monk singing creekside in an excerpt of Cellular Songs, a nature-based piece that would also premiere at BAM in 2018 (5:51)

Mark Morris’ glorious reveal (6:59)

As with any Exquisite Corpse, the whole is greater than the sum of its (excellent) individual parts. Rose ties them together with a red through line, and an original score by Robert Een.

Participating choreographers in order of appearance:

David Dorfman

Reggie Wilson

Trey McIntyre

Bebe Miller

Kate Weare

Sean Curran

Faye Driscoll

David Rousseve

Gideon Obarzanek

Jodi Melnick

Jawole Willa Jo Zollar

Rodrigo Pederneiras

Eiko Otake

Koma Otake

Angelin Preljocaj

Brenda Way

Lin Hwai-min

Brian Brooks

Sasha Waltz

Donald Byrd

Stephen Petronio

William Forsythe

Nora Chipaumire

Karole Armitage

John Heginbotham

Miguel Gutierrez

Elizabeth Streb

Zvi Gotheiner

Ron K. Brown

Larry Keigwin

Annie-B Parson

Doug Varone

Bill T. Jones

Rennie Harris

Ralph Lemon

Meredith Monk

Lucinda Childs

Meryl Tankard

Ohad Naharin

Daniele Finzi Pasca

Ivy Baldwin

Mark Morris

Susan Marshall

John Jasperse

Solo Badolo

Abdel Salaam

Martin Zimmermann

Aurélien Bory

Benjamin Millepied

Brenda Angiel

James Thierrée

Kenneth Kvarnström

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Ayun Halliday is the Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine and author, most recently, of Creative, Not Famous: The Small Potato Manifesto.  Follow her @AyunHalliday.

When Maurice Sendak Created a Dark Nutcracker Ballet

Children are the perfect audience for The Nutcracker. 

(Well, children and the grandmothers who can’t wait for the toddler to start sitting still long enough to make the holiday-themed ballet an annual tradition…)

Maurice Sendak, the celebrated children’s book author and illustrator, agreed, but found the standard George Balanchine-choreographed version so treacly as to be unworthy of children, dubbing it the “most bland and banal of ballets.”

The 1983 production he collaborated on with Pacific Northwest Ballet artistic directors Kent Stowell and Francia Russell did away with the notion that children should be “coddled and sweetened and sugarplummed and kept away from the dark aspects of life when there is no way of doing that.”


Tchaikovsky’s famous score remained in place, but Sendak and Stowell ducked the source material for, well, more source material. As per the New York City Ballet’s website, the Russian Imperial Ballet’s chief ballet master, Marius Petipa, commissioned Tchaikovsky to write music for an adaptation of Alexander Dumas’ child-friendly story The Nutcracker of Nuremberg. But The Nutcracker of Nuremberg was inspired by the much darker E.T.A. Hoffman tale, 1816’s “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.”

The “weird, dark qualities” of the original were much more in keeping with Sendak’s self proclaimed “obsessive theme”: “Children surviving childhood.”

Sendak wanted the ballet to focus more intently on Clara, the young girl who receives the Nutcracker as a Christmas present in Act I:

It’s about her victory over her fear and her growing feelings for the prince… She is overwhelmed with growing up and has no knowledge of what this means. I think the ballet is all about a strong emotional sense of something happening to her, which is bewildering.

 

Balanchine must have felt differently. He benched Clara in Act II, letting the adult Sugarplum Fairy take centerstage, to guide the children through a passive tour of the Land of Sweets.

As Sendak scoffed to the Dallas Morning News:

It’s all very, very pretty and very, very beautiful… I always hated the Sugarplum Fairy. I always wanted to whack her.

“Like what kids really want is a candy kingdom. That shortchanges children’s feelings about life,” echoes Stowell, who revived the Sendak commission, featuring the illustrator’s sets and costumes every winter for 3 decades.

In lieu of the Sugar Plum Fairy, Sendak and Stowell introduced a dazzling caged peacock — a fan favorite played by the same dancer who plays Clara’s mother in Act I.

The threats, in the form of eccentric uncle Drosselmeier, a ferocious tiger, and a massive rat puppet with an impressive, pulsing tail, have a Freudian edge.

The painted backdrops, growing Christmas tree, and Nutcracker toy look as if they emerged from one of Sendak’s books. (He followed up the ballet by illustrating a new translation of the Hoffman original.)

The Sendak-designed costumes are more understated, thought Pacific Northwest Ballet costumer Mark Zappone, who described working with Sendak as “an incredible joy and pleasure” and recalled the funny ongoing battle with the Act II Moors costumes to Seattle Met:

Maurice’s design had the women in quite billowy pants. So we ripped them out of the box, threw them on the girls upstairs in the studios, and Kent started rehearsing the Moors. And one by one, the girls got their legs stuck in those pants and—boom—hit the floor, all six of them. It was like, “Oh my God, what are we going to do about that one?” They ended up, for years, twisting the legs in their costumes and making a little tuck here and there. It was a rite of passage; if you were going to do the Moors, don’t forget to twist your pants around so you won’t get stuck in them.

Rent a filmed version of Maurice Sendak’s The Nutcracker on Amazon Prime. (Look for a Wild Thing cameo in the boating scene with Clara and her Prince.)

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Ayun Halliday is the Chief Primaologist of the East Village Inky zine and author, most recently, of Creative, Not Famous: The Small Potato Manifesto.  Follow her @AyunHalliday.

Watch Awesome Human Choreography That Reproduces the Murmurations of Starling Flocks

A number of choreographers have taken inspiration from the movement of birds.

Sadek Waff, creator of thrillingly precise “murmurations” such as the one above, is also inspired by street dance — particularly the popping hip hop moves known as Tutting and ToyMan.

The nature lover and founder of the dance troupe Géométrie Variable uses both to excellent effect, channeling a starling flock’s hive mind with human dancers, whose lower halves remain firmly rooted. It’s all about the hands and arms, punctuated with the occasional neck flex.

As he observes on his Instagram profile:

There is magic everywhere, the key is knowing how to look and listen in silence. Like a cloud of birds forming waves in the sky, each individual has their own identity but also has an irreplaceable place in the whole.

To achieve these kaleidoscopic murmurations, Waff’s dancers drill for hours, counting aloud in unison, refining their gestures to the point where the individual is subsumed by the group.

The use of mirrors can heighten the illusion:

The reflection brings a symmetrical dimension, like a calm body of water contemplating the spectacle from another point of view, adding an additional dimension, an extension of the image.

The larger the group, the more dazzling the effect, though a video featuring a smaller than usual group of dancers — 20 in total — is helpful for isolating the components Waff brings to bear in his avian-inspired work.

We’re particularly enthralled by the murmuration Waff created for the 2020 Paralympic Games’ closing ceremony in Tokyo, using both professionals and amateurs in matching black COVID-precaution masks to embody the event’s themes of “harmonious cacophony” and “moving forward.” (Notice that the front row of dancers are wheelchair users.)

See more of Sadek Waff’s murmurations on his YouTube channel and on Instagram.

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Ayun Halliday is the Chief Primaologist of the East Village Inky zine and author, most recently, of Creative, Not Famous: The Small Potato Manifesto.  Follow her @AyunHalliday.

An Introduction to Japanese Kabuki Theatre, Featuring 20th-Century Masters of the Form (1964)

The English language has adopted kabuki as an adjective, applied to situations where exaggerated appearances and performances are everything. Business, politics, media: name any realm of modernity, and the myriad ways in which its affairs can turn kabuki will spring to mind. A highly stylized form of dance-drama originating in the seventeenth century, it continues to stand today as a pillar of classical Japanese culture — and indeed, according to UNESCO, one piece of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The worldwide regard for kabuki owes in part to self-promotional efforts on the part of Japan, whose Ministry of Foreign Affairs commissioned the half-hour introductory film above.

Produced in 1964, Kabuki: The Classic Theatre of Japan holds up as a representation of the art, as well as a view of some of the mid-20th century’s master practitioners. These actors include Jitsukawa Enjaku III, Nakamura Utaemon VI, and Ichikawa Danjūrō XI, whose stage names reflect their place in an unbroken professional lineage.


In fact, Ichikawa Danjūrō XI is a predecessor of Ichikawa Ebizō XI, previously featured here on Open Culture for his work in kabuki Star Wars adaptations. The generations shown here didn’t go in for such pop-cultural hybridization, but rather plays from the traditional kabuki repertoire like ShibarakuMusume Dōjōji, and Sukeroku, scenes from all three of which appear in the film.

“Through elaborate costumes and vivid makeup, through beautifully stylized acting and exaggerated vocalization, and highlighted with picturesque settings and colorful music, the kabuki actors create dramatic effects of extraordinary intensity within a framework of pure entertainment,” explains the narrator. And as in the early performances of Shakespeare, all the roles are played by males, specialists known as onnagata. “Because the emphasis in kabuki is on artistic performance, not realism, the onnagata is considered more capable of expressing true femininity than is possible for an actress.” This may have struck Western viewers in the 1960s as an odd notion, but the sheer foreignness of kabuki — cultural, geographical, and temporal — must have been as captivating back then as it remains today, no matter how long we’ve been throwing its name around.

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Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the Substack newsletter Books on Cities, the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

A Dancer Pays a Gravity-Defying Tribute to Claude Debussy

Most dancers have an intuitive understanding of physics.

Choreographer Yoann Bourgeois pushes this science beyond the standard lifts, leaps, and pirouettes, drawing on his training at the Centre National Des Arts du Cirque for a piece marking the centenary of composer Claude Debussy’s death, above.

Given the occasion, the choice of Clair de Lune, Debussy’s best loved piano work, feels practically de rigueur, but the trampoline comes as a bit of a shock.

We may not be able to see it, but it plays such an essential role, it’s tempting to call this solo a pas de deux. At the very least, the trampoline is an essential collaborator, along with pianist Alexandre Tharau and filmmaker Raphaël Wertheimer.


Bourgeois’ expressiveness as a performer has earned him comparisons to Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. His choreography shows that he also shares their work ethic, attention to detail, and love of jawdropping visual stunts.

Don’t expect any random boinging around on this tramp’.

For four and a half minutes, Bourgeois’ everyman struggles to get to the top of a stark white staircase. Every time he falls off, the trampoline launches him back onto one of the steps — higher, lower, the very one he fell off of…

Interpret this struggle how you will.

Psyche, a digital magazine that “illuminates the human condition through psychology, philosophical understanding and the arts” found it to be “an abstracted interpretation of a childlike experience of time.” One viewer wondered if the number of steps — twelve — was significant.

It’s no stretch to conceive of it as a comment on the nature of life — a constant cycle of falling down and bouncing back.

It’s lovely to behold because Bourgeois makes it look so easy.

In an interview with NR, he spoke of how his circus studies led to the realization that “the relationship between physical forces” is what he’s most interested in exploring. The stairs and trampoline, like all of his sets (or devices, as he prefers to call them), are there to “amplify specific physical phenomenon”:

In science, we’d call them models – they’re simplifications of our world that enable me to amplify one particular force at a time. Together, this ensemble of devices, this constellation of constructed devices, tentatively approaches the point of suspension. And so, this makes up a body of research; it’s a life’s research that doesn’t have an end in itself. 

The relationship with physical forces has an eloquent capacity that can be very big; it has the kind of expression that is universal.

Watch more of Youann Bourgeois’ physics-based choreography on his YouTube channel.

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Ayun Halliday is an author, illustrator, theater maker and Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine. Follow her @AyunHalliday.

The Mistake Waltz: Watch the Hilarious Ballet by Legendary Choreographer Jerome Robbins

So often mistakes are the most memorable part of live performance.

In Jerome Robbins’ The Concert (or The Perils of Everybody)they’re built in.

The portion set to Chopin’s Waltz in E Minor, above, has earned the nickname The Mistake Waltz. It’s an anthology of screw ups that will be familiar to anyone who’s attended a few amateur ballet productions and school recitals.


When the entire ensemble is meant to be traveling in the same direction or synchronizing swanlike gestures, the one who’s egregiously out of step is a guaranteed standout… if not the audience’s flat out favorite.

Robbins generously spreads the clowning between all six members of the corps, getting extra mileage from the telegraphed irritation in every indiscreetly attempted correction.

Performed well, the silliness seems almost improvisational, but as with all of this legendary choreographer’s work, the spontaneous beats are very, very specific.

It only works if the dancers have the technical prowess and the comic chops to pull it off. Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo aside, this can present a sizable casting challenge.

Robbins also felt that The Concert should be presented sparingly, to keep the jokes from becoming stale.

Individual companies have some agency over their costumes, but other than that, it is executed just as it was in its 1956 debut with the New York City Ballet.

Former NYCB lead dancer Peter Boal, who was 10 when he played Cupid in Robbins’ Mother Goose, has made The Concert part of Pacific Northwest Ballet‘s repertoire. He revealed another side of the exacting Robbins in a personal essay in Dance Magazine:

He had the unique ability to become kid-like in the studio, giggling with others and often laughing robustly at his own jokes. He was certainly his own best audience for The Concert. How many times had he seen those gags and yet fresh, spontaneous laughter erupted from him as if it was a first telling.

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Ayun Halliday is an author, illustrator, theater maker and Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine.  Join her Necromancers of the Public Domain: The Periodical Cicada, a free virtual variety show honoring the 17-Year Cicadas of Brood X. Follow her @AyunHalliday.

 

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