JEROME MOROSS influenced the theatrical world with his unique approach to musical and dance theater, including The Golden Apple (1954) and Ballet Ballads (1948) which he wrote with lyricist John Latouche, and his interpretation of American urban mythology in the ballet Frankie and Johnny (1938), a work that combined American music and vernacular dance. Among the great choreographers with whom he collaborated were Hanya Holm, Ruth Page and John Butler.
FRANKIE AND JOHNNY
Frankie and Johnny is a ballet in one act (divided into seven dances), based on the popular 1899 American ballad about Frankie, a prostitute in 1890s Chicago, and her pimp Johnny. It was choreographed by Ruth Page and Bentley Stone in 1938 for the Works Project Administration Federal Dance Project, with music by Jerome Moross, libretto by Michael Blandford & Jerome Moross, and scenery and costumes by Paul Du Pont.
THE LAST JUDGEMENT
Moross considered this ballet score one of his very best works and it is sad that he never had the chance to hear it complete in its orchestral form, which is that of a theatre orchestra rather than a symphonic combination, so that the overall sound is quite different from the Symphony or Variations on a Waltz. The Last Judgement was composed in 1953, but the projected production never materialized.
COMPLETE DANCE WORKS
THE FRANKIE & JOHNNY BALLET
This video includes an Interview with choreographer Ruth Page and the 1978 performance of the ballet.
FRANKIE AND JOHNNY was originally composed on commission from Ruth Page, and then presented by her in collaboration with the Chicago Federal Theater. It was completed in March, 1938 and first produced at the Great Northern Theater in Chicago, June 20, 1938.
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