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Jerome Robbins (1918) Options
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Jerome Robbins (1918)

Robbins was an influential American dancer and director and the choreographer of Broadway musicals such as The King and I, Peter Pan, and Fiddler on the Roof. He choreographed and directed both the stage and film versions of the immensely popular West Side Story, for which he shared an Academy Award for Best Director. He was reportedly so unpopular on the set of 1945's Billion Dollar Baby that the company watched silently as he accidently walked into what? More...
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Jerome Robbins
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Jerome Robbins
Jerome Robbins
Jerome Robbins ca. 1968 cropped.jpg
Born Jerome Rabinowitz
October 11, 1918
New York City, USA
Died July 29, 1998(aged 79)
New York City, USA
Jerome Robbins (October 11, 1918 – July 29, 1998) was an American theater producer, director, and choreographer known primarily for Broadway Theater and Ballet/Dance, but who also occasionally directed films and directed/produced for television. His work ranged from classical ballet to contemporary musical theater. Among the numerous stage productions he worked on were On the Town, Peter Pan, High Button Shoes, The King And I, The Pajama Game, Bells Are Ringing, West Side Story, Gypsy: A Musical Fable, and Fiddler on the Roof. Robbins was a five time Tony Award winner and a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors. He received two Academy Awards, including the 1961 Academy Award for Best Director with Robert Wise for West Side Story. A documentary about his life and work, Something to Dance About, featuring excerpts from his journals, archival performance and rehearsal footage, and interviews with Robbins and his colleagues, premiered on PBS in 2009.[1]
Biography

Early years
Robbins was born Jerome Wilson Rabinowitz in the Jewish Maternity Hospital in the heart of Manhattan’s Lower East Side – a neighborhood populated by many immigrants.[2] The Rabinowitz family lived in a large apartment house at 51 East 97th at the northeast corner of Madison Avenue. Known as "Jerry" to those close to him, Robbins was given a middle name that reflected his parents' patriotic enthusiasm for the then-president. Rabinowitz, however, translates to “son of a rabbi”, a name Robbins never liked, since it marked him as the son of an immigrant. So he took the name "Robbins".
In the early 1920s, the Rabinowitz family moved to Weehawken, New Jersey. His father and uncle opened the “Comfort Corset Company”. The family had many show business connections, including vaudeville performers and theater owners.
Robbins began college studying chemistry at New York University (NYU) but dropped out after a year for financial reasons, and to pursue dance. He studied at the New Dance League, learning ballet with Ella Daganova, Antony Tudor and Eugene Loring; modern dance; Spanish dancing with Helen Veola; folk dance with Yeichi Nimura; and dance composition with Bessie Schonberg.

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