Jerome Robbins's Classic NY Export: Opuz Jazz, Remade and Renewed
Rob Marshall could learn a thing or three about transporting dance to the big screen from NY Export: Opus Jazz, an adaptation of Jerome Robbinss famed jazz ballet thats directed with clean, muscular, majestic grace by Jody Lee Lipes (Brock Enright: Good Times Will Never Be the Same) and Henry Joost (Catfish). Varying between master shots and close-ups, straightforward and inventive angles, the filmmakers treatment enhances rather than obscures the lithe, tumultuously expressive movements of their New York City Ballet cast. The dancers do grand justice to Robbinss groundbreaking work, which, after a celebrated European run, premiered stateside on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1958, and herethough retrofitted with modern outfits and staged on location throughout Manhattanretains its horn-blowing, finger-snapping West Side Storystyle cool. The films portrait of disaffected urban teens proves an evocative tribute to the vitality of youth, and ReRun will complement its theatrical run with a part history recap, part behind-the-scenes documentary, as well as a never-before-seen archival featurette on the ballets original production. Essentially wordless even in the concise sequences that connect the various routines, yet oozing seductive passion, sorrowful yearning, and playful joy, Opus Jazz is a brief but striking film that demonstrates the capacity of artbe it dance, music, or cinemato speak volumes without saying a word.
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