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Monday, October 15, 2018

In Context: Watermill

This rarely performed piece by Jerome Robbins was premiered by New York City Ballet in 1972 at Lincoln Center. Different from any Jerome Robbins piece to date, it elicited reactions that ran the gamut. The New York Times critic in attendance at the premiere wrote: “This is the kind of innovative theater that needs a mixed blessing at its birth. And, in my opinion, the boos were from fools, the cheers were from heroes, and the coughs were from that strange and disinterested subscription audience that City Ballet wears round its elegant neck like an albatross.” Context is everything, so we’ve provided some articles to read and videos to watch and listen to, to help you prepare for the upcoming show. After you've attended the performance, let us know what you thought by posting in the comments below and on social media using #Watermill.

Program Notes

Watermill (PDF)


Insider Perspectives on Watermill (BAM Blog)
Luca Veggetti, Hiie Saumaa, and Edward Villella talk about Watermill, from its debut to how it has been reinterpreted for the BAM Fisher.

City Ballet Gives ‘Watermill’ Premiere (The New York Times)
A digital version of the original New York Times review of Watermill in 1972.

Watch & Listen

Teiji Ito - Music for Maya: Disc 1 - 02 - Meshes of the Afternoon (YouTube)
Music for Watermill features scores by Teiji Ito. Listen to a compilation of his music, this particular set was meant for Maya Deren’s film projects.

Jerome Robbins: In His Own Words (YouTube)
A recording of Robbins talking about his work as a choreographer.

Now your turn...

What did you think? Tell us what's on your mind in the comments below and on social media using #Watermill.

© 2018 Brooklyn Academy of Music, Inc. All rights reserved.


  1. It was wonderful. Unique, moving, terrific dancing and creative movement
    accompanied by very special music.

  2. Brilliant dance theatre. The intimacy of the theater itself, the music, and the exquisite dance performance made this a most memorable event. I’ve been coming to BAM for 30 years and this was near the top of everything I’ve experienced. The hour flew by. Bravo!

  3. We loved it, the music was hypnotic and we left relaxed and satisfied. Good dancers and wonderful audience.

  4. Some beautiful pictures were created, and the work immersed the audience in various evocative moods.


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