March 29, 2010

The Other West Side Story

I adore West Side Story. So I was delighted to read this Vanity Fair article on the revival of another production by Jerome Robbins (the director and choreographer of the original Broadway production and movie of West Side Story). A year after West Side Story debuted on Broadway in 1957, Jerome Robbins wrote N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz, which was meant to further capture the "youth, city life, and discontent" conveyed in West Side Story. Looking at the photo slide show, you can see the similarities between the show's dance sequences. Quick movements, darting and jumping, elongated arms and legs stretched in yearning. A longing to match the pulse of the urban scene. My favorite image - the one above - juxtaposes a natural setting with that of the city, which sits patiently on the horizon. The tension of these two worlds can be felt in the taut pose of the dancers. I understand this tension - my love for the country often equals or surpasses that of the city, and vice versa. A constant reversal of desire.

Image found here.


  1. that photo might just be one of the most beautiful things i've ever seen!

  2. that picture is stunning. how i wish i could dance!

  3. I can't wait to see this, because I LOVE West Side Story too! I sometimes wish I had been a dancer! xoxo

  4. How do they do that? Wish I could dance... Love West Side Story, such a classic! My little brother was in local production last year as Tony---cutest thing ever.
    XO Katie

  5. Setting WSS on the old High Line is genius -- love it!


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