Fancy Free

Music by Leonard Bernstein
Choreography by Jerome Robbins
Staged by Judith Fugate
Set Design by Oliver Smith
Costume Design by Kermit Love
Original Lighting Design by Ronald Bates
Lighting by Kirk Bookman

Jerome Robbins’ first ballet and a sensational success, Fancy Free (1944) put on American Ballet Theatre’s stage three sailors on shore leave in New York and the three girls they try to pick up. The men were John Kriza, Harold Lang and Robbins himself, with his famous danzón number. The two lead women were Janet Reed and Muriel Bentley. With the score by Leonard Bernstein, decor (a neighborhood bar) by Oliver Smith, Fancy Free made Robbins a star and morphed later that year into the brilliant musical On the Town and eventually into the Gene Kelly movie.

From “Reading Dance: A Gathering of Memoirs, Reportage, Criticism, Profiles, Interviews and Some Uncategorizable Extras” edited and with an introduction by Robert Gottlieb. From the interview “Bringing Back Robbins’ Fancy” written by Tobi Tobias. Pantheon Books, New York, Copyright © 2008 by Robert Gottlieb.

For the October 2013 performances, the choreography and guest artist fees have been made possible by the Todd Bolender Fund for Dance Performance. The Fund honors the spirit and extraordinary legacy of Todd Bolender, Artistic Director of the Kansas City Ballet from 1980 to 1996.

Premiere: (American) Ballet Theatre, April 18, 1944

Kansas City Ballet premiere: October 11, 2013, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

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