With its crackling energy and heart-rending poignancy, West Side Story Suite hardly needs any introduction – this collection of dances and songs from the smash international musical never fails to fulfill.
West Side Story took Broadway by storm in 1957, when it ushered in a new era in musical theater. Jerome Robbins had the idea to update Romeo and Juliet, setting it in modern-day New York, and he engaged composer Leonard Bernstein, playwright Arthur Laurents, and lyricist Stephen Sondheim as collaborators. The musical played for two years on Broadway, then toured the U.S. and ran for nearly three years in London, and has since been staged in cities around the world. The movie followed in 1961, winning 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director (for co-directors Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins), as well as a special award presented to Robbins for his choreography. In 1989, Jerome Robbins’ Broadway opened at the Imperial Theater in New York. Included in the retrospective of Robbins’ musical theater work was a suite of dances from West Side Story, which the choreographer re-staged at New York City Ballet in 1995.
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