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NYCB Vol. 2 No. 10 - Moves

Did you know, the “silent” ballet, Moves (danced to the sound of slaps, claps, stomps, and steps) used to have a subtitle? It was Moves: A Ballet in Silence about Relationships. I like the subtitle and wish it was still used. The ballet was choreographed in 1959 for Robbins’ company Ballets: USA. It was revived and NYCB premiered it in 1984. The color photos are from the revival. The last 2 photos in black and white show Robbins in the choreographic process in 1959. On the back of the last photo is printed this information:

“While working with this group recently he experimented with a new dance form—a ballet without music. Of this work Robbins said, ‘By severing itself from music, it permits audiences to respond solely to the action of the dance…they become aware of the potentialities of gesture and can respond emotionally to the inherent curiosities of movement.’ The expressive open-palm movement of the hand, used significantly in so many Robbins ballets, is rehearsed as a possible movement in the new ballet, Moves. This ballet will be danced without musical accompaniment and without scenery.”

(top left) Jerome Robbins, 1959

(top center) Peter Frame and Lourdes Lopez, 1984

(top right) Cast of Moves, 1984

(bottom left) Jerome Robbins, 1959

(bottom center) Cast of Moves, 1984

bottom right) Cast of Moves, 1984

All photos by Martha Swope

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