From the first press release, slipped to Haglund by a Yankees fan, for the March 24, 2010 broadcast on PBS's Great Performances of Ellen Bar's and Sean Suozzi's film Jerome Robbin's NY Export: Opus Jazz:
(New York, NY – Nov. 4, 2009) Shot on location all over present-day New York City, NY Export: Opus Jazz takes Jerome Robbins' 1958 jazz ballet, of the same name, and recreates it for a new generation. Created, produced, and danced by members of the New York City Ballet, NY Export: Opus Jazz (www.opusjazz.com) will air on THIRTEEN's Great Performances series on Wednesday, March 24, 2010 at 8 p.m. EST (check local listings). Conceived by Ellen Bar and Sean Suozzi, New York City Ballet soloists, and directed by Henry Joost and Jody Lee Lipes, NY Export: Opus Jazz completed shooting in and around New York City at the end of September 2009.
Bar and Suozzi danced in Jerome Robbins' NY Export: Opus Jazz when it was revived by New York City Ballet in 2005. They were struck by the themes that came out in the dancing – the energy and raw emotions of urban youth – which makes the ballet just as relevant today as it was when it was first conceived in the 1950's. With a couple of changes – street clothes instead of costumes and New York City locations instead of a stage – they believed that a film of this ballet would be very accessible to both novices and balletomanes.
After NY Export: Opus Jazz was sanctioned by all nine members of the Robbins' Trust – not only an approval first but an immediate vote of confidence – the pas de deux, "Passage for Two," was shot in June 2007. Filmed at the High Line (pre-renovation), it features New York City Ballet soloists Rachel Rutherford and Craig Hall and was shot in just two days. Bar and Suozzi utilized this preliminary sequence to help raise funds for the entire film.
The film, like the ballet, is divided into five movements and was shot on location at a gymnasium in Carroll Gardens (Brooklyn), the McCarren Park Pool in Williamsburg (Brooklyn), the Imlay building in Red Hook (Brooklyn) and at the Loew's Theater, circa 1929, in Jersey City. "It was always our intention to shoot each section in a different place because each movement has different moods and atmospheres," explains Bar.
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The original ballet was 28 minutes long. The film includes every step of the ballet from first to last – danced by New York City Ballet dancers – but also has a narrative scene between each movement where the audience is introduced to the characters. Accompanying the ballet on Great Performances will be a documentary, by Matt Wolf and Anna Farrell, which follows the story of the original ballet up until its adaptation for film.
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Calendar this. March 24. And visit the film's website.
Wouldn't it be wild if there was a simulcast large screen showing outside at Lincoln Center?!