Jerome Robbins (born Jerome Rabinowitz in 1918) was one of the most important figures in American dance and musical theater in the twentieth century. He was the Co-Artistic Director with George Balanchine of the fledgling New York City Ballet in 1948, bringing Broadway vernacular energy to complement Balanchine's austere classicism and choreographing such classic ballets as Facsimile, Dance at a Gathering, and Afternoon of a Faun. His ballet to a score by Leonard Bernstein, Fancy Free, electrified the dance world and would transmogrify into the immortal musical On the Town. On Broadway, he choreographed The King and I, The Pajama Game, Bells Are Ringing, and Peter Pan, and choreographed and directed West Side Story—probably his most enduring achievement. In his private life he was an ambivalent, semi-closeted homosexual and his cooperation with the McCarthy committee during the witch-hunts of the 1950s estranged him from many of his closest friends. He was an artistic giant whose life embodied many of the tensions and contradictions of the American century. He exemplified, in his life no less than his work, the flowering of American in the mid-twentieth century -in particular the emergence of New York as the capital of world culture.
Somewhere by Amanda Vaill is the first and only book with access to the Robbins papers, a voluminous collection of letters, diaries, notebooks, memos, and production notes that form an unrivaled archive of a singular man's life and a singular moment in our cultural history. Supremely accomplished and entertaining, it not only chronicles Robbins's phenomenalcareer and plumbs his complex private life but will place him squarely in the cultural ferment of his time and his native city. It explains the tangle of contradictions that made him such an infuriating, fascinating, oddly vulnerable human being and such a protean creative figure, and offers a densely populated narrative that will draw readers in and along. Somewhere is a major biography of a true entertainment legend.