28 December 2012 11:00 AM, PST | Zap2It - From Inside the Box | See recent Zap2It - From Inside the Box news »

Before "So You Think You Can Dance," "Dancing With the Stars" and other shows attracted large audiences to dance, there was Robert Joffrey.

He brought dance to everyone, using his company, the Joffrey Ballet, as ambassadors of dance, traveling the country, putting on shows.

The dramatic tale of the dance company is beautifully told in "Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance" on PBS' "American Masters" Friday, Dec. 28 (check local listings).

It's not an overstatement to say that Robert Joffrey revolutionized dance in America.

"I always thought it was important to represent the country, to use American music," Joffrey says in the film.

He went beyond traditional ballet, which many found effete and difficult to embrace. He set dance to contemporary music, but used basic ballet moves, melded with modern dance. His choreography was modern, but not so abstract that it shut out audiences for being too avant-garde.

Dancers quoted Joffrey as saying, »

- editorial@zap2it.com

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