As a surprise for my birthday during the hustle and bustle of the State Fair at Fair Park, I had the pleasure of seeing West Side Story presented by the Dallas Summer Musicals on October 11, 2011. West Side Story is a musical that takes place in New York City during the mid 1950s. An adaptation of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, the musical shows the rivalry between two teenage street gangs, the Jets and the Sharks. The Jets are a white working class group while the Sharks are from Puerto Rico. The lead male, Tony is a Jet and he falls in love with Maria, the sister of Bernardo who is the leader of the Sharks. The story follows the obstacles that they must face in order to be together, and also how the two different cultures of the time clashed.
While watching the "Prologue" and the "Jet Song" I could see and feel a lot of energy and stealth in the dance. The way that the Jets moved in their dance fast, but they were very light on their feet. The choreography kept me on the edge of my seat because I did not know what was going to happen next, it was a great start for the show. The next big number of the show was the "Gym Dance", which was where the Jets and the Sharks were at their school dance. It was very intriguing to watch the variation of movement between the dance the the Sharks would do and the Jets. Because the Sharks were from Puerto Rico there was a lot of latin style to the choreography. The Jets did a dance that was a more popular "American" style dance at that time, it was not as energetic as the Sharks dance was, but still had a lot of variation in the style. Because there were so many people on stage in this scene it was a little difficult to see exactly what everyone was doing. The dance looked messy at times because of the number of people on stage, but it was still a good dance. Another aspect of this piece was the difference in costumes, the women who were with the Jets had on costumes that were a fitted dress and went down to about...
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