A Labanotation score.
In capturing the spirit of the 'Roaring Twenties' Jerome Robbins' Charleston Ballet is a
gem. It came to life in the 1945 Broadway show Billion Dollar Baby, providing a highlight
despite being only seven minutes long. Robbins depicted the various characters of the
time, the gangsters, bootleggers, a policeman (who was always looking the other way)
and various other characters who entered - and also exited - the Speakeasy. For each of
these people Robbins selected appropriate Charleston steps of the period to illustrate their
particular personality. Three young Flappers had great fun whooping it up; the Rich
Couple exuded elegance and disdain as they swept into the Speakeasy; the doddery Old
Couple, dancing the familiar steps with caution; the over exuberant Collegiate Couple
wildly sharing a flask of booze; two Younger Generation, he with banjo, joyfully beating
time to the music; two Gangsters furtively casing the joint before the Bootleggers bring
in the boxes of likker. The poor Timid Girl (who lives alone in an attic), meets up with
Good Time Charlie who soon drags her into the Speakeasy. Before long, wildly drunk,
the Timid Girl comes bursting out the Speakeasy and introduces exaggerated Charleston
steps which leads into the group finale.