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Hofesh Shechter Talks ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ Adaptation

By Shane Jordan s.jordan@classicalite.com on Jan 17, 2016 09:30 PM EST

Not everyone has loved what Hofesh Shechter has done with the Jerome Robbins' chorography in Bartlett Sher's 50th anniversary revival of Fiddler on the Roof, but the Israel born dance director seems to be taking the criticism in stride. The 41-year-old London based dancer and choreographer has commented that while some reviews have been harsh, his coming to Broadway has been a mostly positive affair.

Despite the fact that he was a virtual stranger to Broadway, Bartlett Sher thought that Hofesh Shechter's Israeli background would make him the perfect candidate to reinvent Jerome Robbins' Fiddler on the Roof choreography.

During a recent interview with the NY Times, Sher explained that he believed Shechter's background put him in a unique position to reinterpret the musical's dances in a way that would seem both new and yet still based in tradition:

"Fiddler, the dances grow out of real situations, so I thought it would be more fun to reinvestigate them.

"[Schecter has] grown up in that universe; I thought the conversation between him and Robbins would be interesting."

Sadly, some of the reviews have seen Schecter's take on Robbin's to be a bit too close to the source material to be considered innovative or awe inspiring.

Linda Winer of News Day took Shecter's new choreography to task for coming off as more lampoonist than inspired by the original:

"Worse, much worse, is the busy, wiggly-armed, contorted dances by Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter.

"We know Fiddler is about the necessity, at times, to be flexible with tradition. But you have to be better than this to get flexible with Jerome Robbins."

For his part, Schechter doesn't seem to be letting the criticism ruin his Broadway debut or  his time in New York as a whole (via NY Times):

"The editing has been harsh...people are always looking at the watch and saying, 'That's too long.'

"I was worried about coming to Broadway and it feeling cheap, but it feels good...in my work I sometime say, 'You connect. You don't connect. Good luck!'"

Click here to purchase your tickets to the 50 Anniversary revival of Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway.

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TagsHofesh Schechter, Fiddler on the Roof, broadway, Jerome Robbins, Barlett Sher

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