The Company

Fancy Free

Jerome Robbins choreographed Fancy Free, his first ballet, in 1944, when he was only 26 years old.  It was the first of several collaborations with Leonard Bernstein and was an instant success.  The ballet was inspired in part by Paul Cadmus’ 1934 painting, “The Fleet’s In.”  It is the story of three sailors on leave in New York City during World War II, and the ballet was the precursor to the Broadway musical On the Town.  Although there is no dialogue in ballet, the choreography is so clear one is able to understand what the sailors are saying and thinking throughout.  In a recent New York Times article it says that Robbins “felt compelled to create something different when he choreographed Fancy Free, and he is quoted as having said, “Why can’t we dance about American subjects? Why can’t we talk about the way we dance today, and how we are?”