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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

June 9, 2010 at 12:36 PM

If you liked “West Side Story” . . .

. . . you’ll probably be fascinated by “NY Export: Opus Jazz,” a new dance film based on a 1958 “ballet in sneakers” created by Jerome Robbins, not long after the Broadway debut of “West SIde Story.” I just watched it this morning on a DVD screener on my not-too-big TV, and it practically jumped off the screen with its jittery, youthful tension and beauty. The dance was originally created by Robbins for his Ballets: U.S.A. company, and made a sensation when televised on the Ed Sullivan Show. Recently, two members of New York City Ballet were inspired to create a film of it, shooting NYCB dancers all over Manhattan: in a high-school gym, an empty theater, an old railroad track (the location, I believe, of the new Hi-Line park), an abandoned warehouse. Its 46 minutes are over too quickly; you believe these young people could dance forever. Northwest Film Forum is presenting the film Saturday through Monday this week; it’s also getting occasional airings on PBS as part of the Great Performances series. See it on the big screen, though; you just might dance your way out the door.

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