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NY Export: Opus Jazz
dir. Henry Joost, Jody Lee Lipes / USA 2010 / 61’
choreography: Jerome Robbins

subtitles: Polish


Robbie Fairchild, Craig Hall, Amanda Hankes, Adam Hendrickson, Glenn Keenan, Rebecca Krohn, Ashley Laracey, Austin Laurent, Georgina Pazcoguin, Tiler Peck, Brittany Pollack, Amar Ramasar, Rachel Rutherford, Antonio Carmena San Jose, Troy Schumacher, Gretchen Smith, Andrew Veyette, Giovanni Villalobos


SXSW FF 2010 – audience award

Film description

In 1958, Jerome Robbins established the famous NY Export: Opus Jazz, a ‘ballet in sneakers’, an exceptionally innovative and trend-setting musical spectacle. After its premiere at Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy, the show moved to Broadway. When parts of the ballet aired on the Ed Sullivan Show, America went wild.

In 2010, Henry Joost, Jody Lee Lipes and the young dancers of the New York City Ballet produced a film adaptation of NY Export: Opus Jazz, keeping the original choreography but taking the show on location to an abandoned stadium, empty garages, overgrown lots, a gym, and, ultimately, an enormous old-fashioned theater. This is New York, but behind the scenes, less-than-obvious – and still picturesque.

The filmmakers make masterful use of the visual aspects of dance. Motion and choreography tell the story and create beautiful images as integral elements of shot composition. Each scene is formally chiseled and the images pulse to the rhythm of the music, where ballet ceases being merely dance and becomes a feast for cinephiles.

Karolina Kosińska

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