Thursday, August 20, 2009

At The Starting Gate

After years of planning, fundraising and more planning, New York Export: Opus Jazz, is about to begin filming. It is easy to declare that any project is a "labor of love", but since 2005, Ellen Bar and Sean Suozzi have been tirelessly planning to turn this monumental ballet by Jerome Robbins in to a film.
Way back in 2005, we all began learning this ballet from scratch. Countless hours were spent learning the dance styles of the 1950's. We immediately sunk our teeth into the dark, sexy, rebellious undercurrents of each step we danced. Under the watchful eyes of our ballet master, Eddie Verso, we slowly became the angst filled youths of Opus Jazz.
Unbeknownst to the rest of the cast, Ellen and Sean were making plans to update this ballet.
Why not dance this ballet in the streets and buildings that it belongs? Why not dance this ballet in the clothes of our time? Why not take a daring leap out of the 1950s and make this ballet ours, just as the original cast did decades earlier?
Now, years later, that is just what we are doing. Soon the world will see some of the world's greatest dancers take an amazing ballet and set it where it has always belonged, deep in the grit of New York City, ensconced in its dirt, its sweat and its never ending energy and rhythm.

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