West Side Story

Discipline: Art (Fine arts, Performing arts)

Type of Paper: Question-Answer

Academic Level: Undergrad. (yrs 3-4)

Paper Format: APA

Pages: 1 Words: 275


Arts/Musical Theater

West Side Story
- opened Broadway 1957 -music by Leonard Bernstein, orchestrations - lyrics by stephen sondheim - libretto by arthur laurents
direction and choreography by Jerome Robbins

Leonard Bernstein:
American composer, pianist, and conductor - born in Lawrence 1918 died 1990 - first american born leader of major us orchestra: Boston symphony and NY philharmonic devoted to educating audiences about classical music studied at harvard made conducting before he graduated - know for his ballets, symphoonic choral works, and broadway musicals

What is Westside stroy based on?
Romeo and Juliet

Sharks and jets
sharks: 1st gen a,mericans from puerto rico jets: true americans, turf is being iinvaded by outsiders

interesting facts about westside story 
-achieved realism by not allowing sharks and jets to interact on set -treated danccers like individual characters instead of just chorus -posted stories about gang violence on bulletin board backstage

dance and music in westside story
- coollab b/w robbins (choreographer) and Bernstein (composer) -robbins excited about idea of working with altin music and dance choreography - all future productions have to use and credit robbins choreography

Prologue and jet Song 
sung by riff and the jets - introduces conflict b/w jets and the sharks - shows distinctive dance style done by jets: modern, theatrical, jazz - choreographed dance fighting b/w two gangs -wordless -shows that burnstein loves crossrhythm (sounds like orchestra is playing) this creates tension - less about perfection and precisioin than about stretching and using the space -moves b/w casual and walking music jets vs sharks sharks: a bit more graceful more upright jets: more grounded - happy moments and aggressive moments they enter the fight with a hand flip thing some awkward slang he did the weird slang so it wouldnt expire

Dance at the Gym
instrumental number -shows conflict extends beyond just mate and gang members; girls are part of it - jets: cool jazz style sharks: more latin inspired but jets jump in and do mambo - syncopated rhythm

-sung by Anita, Rosalia, and all the shark girls - argue about missing home/ how new home is better - song has distinctive feel of hemiola rhythm without being true hemiola (hemiola: 2 against 3 pattern) -mostly mocking rosalia - switches b/w 6/8 and3/4 - considered a horizontal hemiola because it's not happening at the same time

the eveof big rumble b/w jets and the sharks multi part showing burnsteins skill at polyphonic composition starts with the two gangs talking about rumble anita sings about meeting bernardo after the fight - maria hopeful that tony can end the fight peacefully diff melodies over same accompaniment - Introduced by tony and maria - Clearly reflects romeo and juliet - Balcony scene in romeo and juliet, balcony scene in west side story fire escape - Next time we here it is in ensemble version b/c - Sharks and jets decide they'll have a fight   ○ Gonna be a rumble, then it's just best against best - This is the night before the fight - Mari thinks tony will stop everything - Anita sings about how shes looking forward to the hot date after the fight - Polyphonic choral piece Taking from broadway production