03 December 2010

NY Export: Opus Jazz

Directed by: Henry Joost and Jody Lee Lipes
Full credits at IMDb

West Side Story looms large over NY Export: Opus Jazz, a Jerome Robbins ballet choreographed the year after Story opened on Broadway. It’s set to a cool jazz score (by Robert Prince), and features young New Yorkers snapping their fingers and fluttering their palms above their heads. They even dance in a gym. But this 45-minute film adaptation is like that iconic film purified: stripped of stars, soundstages and singing, and returned to awesome basics—the city and the dance.

NY Export: Opus Jazz recaptures the raw, exhilarating energy Robert Wise got out of Story’s opening scene and extends it into a self-contained story of its own. It juxtaposes the fantastical and the real: ballet, on the streets of New York. (Not unlike U-Carmen’s opera in a South African shantytown.)

Keep reading at The L Magazine

Watch the trailer:

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