The titanic choreographer, creator of memorable ballets, master of Broadway musicals, and legendary show doctor and director is now revealed in his own words through his voluminous letters, journals, notes, diaries—published here for the first time.
To help us better understand Robbins, Amanda Vaill has compiled a rich selection of his writings ... Drawing on the Robbins archive in the New York Public Library and on the correspondence of his friends and associates, Ms. Vaill has produced a hit of her own out of Robbins’s letters, diaries, sketches and notes. For each chronological section she has also provided a substantial preface; taken together, they amount to a distillation of her definitive 2006 biography, Somewhere: The Life of Jerome Robbins ... Ms. Vaill’s book is filled with vivid details about the dailiness of Robbins’ life.
Jerome Robbins, By Himself is a captivating self-portrait, of the man, the artist and his times ... Robbins’ diaries are conversational, intimate, and penned with candor and clarity about his successes and failures both professional and personal ... This beautifully assembled volume features extensive photographs throughout the text and gorgeous color prints of Robbins’ diary entries that contain his own illustrations. Jerome Robbins, By Himself is an unfiltered look at a creative force of nature and an uncompromising artist who just happened to be one of the architects of a golden age of American dance and musical theater.
What Robbins’ writings lack in spit and polish, they make up for in candor ... Other gems include a detailed outline for Fancy Free, as well as a journal entry describing the fits and starts in which the ballet was born ... The centerpiece of the book is a series of letters Robbins wrote to ballerina Tanaquil Le Clercq ... Like much of the fascinating material gathered here, these letters are chatty, empathetic and endearing.