This topic is extracted from Alla's post on the Books Forum (Review of Robbins Biography). She is quoting Jennifer Homans' review in The New Republic.
That said, and this is another of Homans' observations, the NYCB dancers seem to relax in Robbins ballets in a way they can't anymore in Balanchine works, which demand a sort of sponaneity and freedom that's hard to come by in that company today. The Robbins ballets are better danced, Homans argues, because "Robbins sewed the instructions into the lining" (referring to his rigorous planning of every step, etc.) She seems to be suggesting that Robbins ballets are not "living organisms" in the way that Balanchine ballets are, and so they don't require so much in the way of vigorous, independent risk-taking (which, she suggests, doesn't much exist anymore at City Ballet).
What do people think? I've always felt there were "Robbins dancers" and "Balanchine dancers" in the company, I've even heard people describe themselves that way. Anyone care to discuss the distinctions? Also, how do you think the Robbins legacy is holding up, in comparison to others?
[ 07-04-2001: Message edited by: Leigh Witchel ]