Dance: A Busy Springtime for Jerry

Robbins finds inspiration in Fred Astaire and Philip Glass

When the curtain rises on Jerome Robbins' new ballet, Variations on I'm Old Fashioned, the audience sees a movie screen. A four-minute film clip from You Were Never Lovelier (1942) shows Fred Astaire dancing with the breathtakingly lovely Rita Hayworth, then 24. They start off slowly, pick up momentum, then get rambunctious, in an elegant way. Passing through the French doors at the end of the sequence, they even bump shoulders briefly before gliding off into one of the many mansions reserved for the gods of dance.

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