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Poppa piece : [notes for the Jew piece]

Author: Jerome Robbins
Publisher: 1975.
Edition/Format:   Audiobook on CD : CD audio : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Publication:Jerome Robbins Collection
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Recorded over multiple days from Jan. 22 to Jan. 25, 1975. Jerome Robbins introduces this tape by saying "this is about the Jew piece," an early name for the theater work that he later called Poppa piece. The recording contains many short segments in which Robbins records memories, thoughts and current experiences that relate to the subject of the piece. He begins by noting that he has been reading over diaries and  Read more...
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Details

Named Person: Jerome Robbins; Jerome Robbins
Material Type: Biography, Audio book, etc.
Document Type: Sound Recording
All Authors / Contributors: Jerome Robbins
OCLC Number: 754820195
Notes: Jerome Robbins records memories and observations relating to his father and his Jewish identity. This is one of a group of recordings made by Robbins in the mid-1970's, in the initial stages of planning his autobiographical theater work Poppa piece. These "audio notebooks" contain reminiscences which he recorded as part of the development of the work.
Sound quality is good. The recording starts and stops, with audible breaks.
Description: 1 sound disc (ca. 45 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
Other Titles: Jerome Robbins Collection.
Audio materials.

Abstract:

Recorded over multiple days from Jan. 22 to Jan. 25, 1975. Jerome Robbins introduces this tape by saying "this is about the Jew piece," an early name for the theater work that he later called Poppa piece. The recording contains many short segments in which Robbins records memories, thoughts and current experiences that relate to the subject of the piece. He begins by noting that he has been reading over diaries and notes and thinking about the discontent that has run through his life and its roots in the separation from his cultural background and the effort to assimilate in gentile society. He speaks about the dichotomy in his parents' lives between their old world origins and new world aspirations; and about his dislike of his father's foreignness and Jewishness and his desire to escape from the world of his youth. Next, Robbins speaks about the preparation for his bar mitzvah, the teacher who came to instruct him in singing from the Torah, and an incident in which neighborhood boys mocked him during his lesson. He discusses the lessons he absorbed from the community of Jewish immigrants, and his feelings about being Jewish. He then speaks about a trip to visit his grandparents in the shtetl of Rozhanka, the idyllic summer he spent there and his feeling that it was his home. In the next segment, Robbins talks about his attraction to "American jocks," and the fact that all of his lovers have been gentiles. In the following section, he describes his early memories of physical affection from his father, and his later feeling of alienation. He speaks about how his father is now dying, and describes his physical and mental condition, and the visits that Robbins has paid to him in Florida. He discusses how the material he is gathering might be put into a theater piece; his feelings on reading over old notebooks; and he briefly comments on his relationships with Ron Ifft, Christine Conrad, and Abe Abdallah. In a section recorded on Jan. 25, Robbins states that he has just attended synagogue, and describes the experience and how it reconnected him to childhood memories; his thoughts about returning to religious practices; differences between Christians and Jews; aspects of Jewish life that he loved as a child and why he rejected them. He sings in Hebrew and speaks about aspects of the synagogue service, and his impressions of the men he saw there as a child. He recalls a family seder in Brooklyn. He discusses his feelings about being a first-generation American, and speaks about his grandparents and the old world traditions that they carried on. He mentions that he has spoken to Lincoln Kirstein about the theater work he is planning, and that he wants to use it to get his feelings out without concern for form. Finally, he speaks about his desire to attend synagogue more often and his thoughts about his original surname, Rabinowitz.

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Linked Data


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