Guide to Costas photograph of Jerome Robbins rehearsing "Circus Polka" with young ballet dancers C0462
Published by George Mason University Libraries
Jerome Robbins was one of the foremost dancers and choreographers of the 20th century. Born to Russian-Jewish immigrants in New York City in 1918, Robbins rose to prominence in the 1940s with his choreography for a number of Broadway shows. In 1949 Robbins became the Associate Artistic Director of the New York City Ballet under George Balanchine, cementing his place in the international ballet scene. Robbins gained worldwide fame with his Tony Award-winning choreography for the musicals West Side Story and Fiddler on the Roof, after which he pivoted to ballet for the rest of his career. Robbins passed away in 1998.
"Circus Polka" is a short ballet with music by Igor Stravinsky and choreography by Jerome Robbins. The piece was originally commissioned by Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus as an act for their elephants accompanied by ballet dancers. In 1972 Robbins choreographed a showpiece to the music for the Stravinsky Festival which featured himself as the circus Ringmaster, accompanied by forty-eight young students from the School of American Ballet. The ballet is still performed today.
Costas Cacaroukas - known by the mononym Costas - was a Greek-American dance photographer. He was the photographer in residence for the New York City Ballet for the majority of his career and was closely associated with George Balanchine. He was also the photographer in residence for American Ballet Theatre. In addition to the New York City Ballet, Costas photographed many other dance companies, both national and international.
Matted color photograph featuring the dancer and choreographer Jerome Robbins taking a bow during rehearsals of the ballet "Circus Polka" in 1972. In the foreground is Robbins, in partial ringmaster costume, bowing and gesturing to the rehearsal audience. Behind Robbins in the background are young ballet dancers. The photograph is signed by Robbins. It is also signed by Costas - the photographer - on the matte.
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There are no restrictions on personal use. Permission to publish the Costas photograph of Jerome Robbins rehearsing "Circus Polka" with young ballet dancers must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.
The Special Collections Research Center also holds the Martha Swope photograph of Jerome Robbins in rehearsal with young ballet dancers for "Circus Polka," the Martha Swope photographs of Jerome Robbins rehearsing with ballet dancers for "Antique Epigraphs," and the Friedman-Abeles photography firm photograph of prominent members of the original "West Side Story" production team.
Costas photograph of Jerome Robbins rehearsing "Circus Polka" with young ballet dancers, C0462, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.
Purchased by Steve Gerber from Schubertiade Music in March 2012.
Processing completed by Amanda Brent in January 2021. EAD markup completed by Amanda Brent in January 2021. This item was formerly part of the Performing Arts Manuscript Materials collection, C0215.
The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. "Jerome Robbins." Encyclopaedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica, inc., Accessed January 19, 2021. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Jerome-Robbins.
Kisselgoff, Anna. "Jerome Robbins, 79, Is Dead; Giant of Ballet and Broadway." The New York Times, July 30, 1998. Accessed January 19, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/1998/07/30/theater/jerome-robbins-79-is-dead-giant-of-ballet-and-broadway.html.
New York City Ballet. "Circus Polka." New York City Ballet, Accessed January 19, 2021. https://www.nycballet.com/discover/ballet-repertory/circus-polka/.
The New York Public Library Archives and Manuscripts Division. "Costas dance photographs 1966 - 2016." The New York Public Library, Accessed January 19, 2021. http://archives.nypl.org/dan/24253.