|The unveiling of a sculpture by |
Robin Heidi Kennedy portraying
choreographer Jerome Robbins.
Artist Robin Heidi Kennedy was born in Coyoacán, Mexico. Her mother, a professor of Latin American history, was German; her father, a sculptor, was Irish. It was while she was still living in Mexico that she began her career as a portraitist by drawing caricatures in hotel bars in the Zona Rosa when she was only seventeen. Shortly afterward, she came to Italy to study sculpture. Kennedy quickly became involved in set design, however, and began to work as a scenic artist as soon as her studies were completed. Kennedy continued in set and scene design for nearly a decade in theaters and in film in Italy and the United States before dedicating herself once again to sculpture. She divides her time between her workshop in the countryside outside Spoleto and her studio in Brooklyn, New York. In 2005, the Robbins Foundation in New York proposed that Kennedy undertake the Jerome Robbins Terrace to mark the occasion of the tenth anniversary, in 2008, of the great choreographer’s death. Spoleto had always been especially near to Robbins’ heart, and he recalled the city affectionately as the site of a myriad of unforgettable experiences over the years. During the period in which the Teatro Nuovo was being restored, Mayor Brunini enthusiastically welcomed the idea of a monument to Robbins in Spoleto’s main theater. The year dedicated to Jerome Robbins (July 2008/July 2009) by theaters all over the world, and particularly by the Paris Opera and the New York State Theatre, thus closes with the inauguration of the Terrace dedicated to Jerome Robbins at the Teatro Nuovo. The group of sculptures conceived and created by Kennedy for the Terrace includes a life-sized bronze statue of Robbins and a three-level “theatrical bookcase" containing twenty-eight figures based on some of the best-known characters from Robbins’ ballets. Several of these figures were created specifically for Spoleto during past editions of the Festival dei Due Mondi. The model for the "bookcase" was displayed at the Lincoln Center during an exhibit dedicated to Robbins’ life and will be housed permanently in the Jerome Robbins Theater at the Baryshnikov Arts Center.