West Side Story Essay, Research Paper

West Side Story is one of the most influential musicals of all clip. It & # 8217 ; s integrating of dance and vocal into the secret plan was really advanced, because even though it had been done before, it had ne’er been done this well.

Jerome Robbins had thought of an version of Romeo and Juliet to a Broadway musical in 1949. He began treatments with librettist Arthur Laurents and composer Leonard Bernstein of a musical called East Side Story, with a secret plan concentrating on a Catholic miss and a Judaic male child. Other undertakings forced the work aside for six old ages, and when they returned to it, times had changed. Their thought became West Side Story, ( another early rubric was Gangway! ) and the Montague-Capulet narrative was translated into pack warfare between white and Puetro Rican teenage packs, basen on then-current combat for the sod of Manhattan & # 8217 ; s West Side, besides known as Hell & # 8217 ; s Kitchen.

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This new interlingual rendition was of import because the tensenesss of these groups could be good represented by dance Numberss. Robbins found the adolescent & # 8217 ; s natural slouch, violent energy, and herd inherent aptitude utile for his stage dancing. The conflict for Manhattan & # 8217 ; s West Side gave the dance more specific motive, which Robbins capitalized on. The Latin-american beat gave Bernstein a good musical base to get down from, and the whole mark benefited from a jazzy Manhattan feel, which had been inherited from Gershwin, every bit good as Copland & # 8217 ; s romantic Americana feel.

Robbins pick of a dramatis personae was really meticulously done. He wanted a existent feeling that had ne’er been reached before in Musical history. He wanted histrions that were non good known, and that would acquire his subject of world across to the audience. During dry runs he really separated the Jets and the Sharks and didn & # 8217 ; t let them to socialise or even speak to one another. He besides didn & # 8217 ; t let the actress playing Anybodys to eat tiffin with anyone at all.

The show opened on Broadway on September 16

, 1957. At first, the critics were non able to to the full appreciate the magnitude of the accomplishment, but one critic, Brooks Atkinson wrote that the concert dances “convey the things that Laurents is inhibited from stating because the characters are so inarticulate.” This was done deliberately as a portion of the realistic attack to the musical. By doing the adolescents inarticulate, they were forced to pass on at an emotional degree that about lended itself to an impressionistic attack.

One invention of West Side Story was that there truly wasn & # 8217 ; t a dance chorus. Each terpsichorean was assigned a specific character to play, and all of them sang, danced, and spoke. Robbins knew that by delegating his terpsichoreans existent characters he would beef up the importance of the dance in the narrative. This made it so that future shows had to seek to accomplish an equal degree of integrating, or the dance Numberss would look to decelerate the show down dramatically.

Another of import facet of the show is that the grownups and the adolescents were non able to pass on across the coevals spread. None of the grownups in the musical sing or dance, which leaves them alienated signifier the group. This once more strengthens the importance of dancing as a agency to pass on the narrative of the musical to the audience.

Robbins, Bernstein, Laurents and Stephen Sondheim, who made his legitimate theater introduction here as lyrist, made what is called by some the perfect musical in West Side Story. The coming of the choreographer-as-director enabled musical theater to take this last, important measure in the integrating of dance in musicals.

This production ran for 732 public presentations. It so went on a successful state broad circuit, after which it returned to Broadway for another 249 public presentations.

The movie based on the musical, which came out in 1961, won 10 Academy Awards that twelvemonth. It was mostly successful and made the muscial even more good known as an of import and groundbreaking piece in musical history

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