Symphonic Dances from West Side Story

Opening on Broadway in 1957, West Side Story broke the mould with its fusion of Old World classical and New World jazz and Latin genres. The Symphonic Dances were first performed in 1961 and present symphonic arrangements of some of the best-loved songs and dances from the musical. We are playing a selection as follows:

● Prologue – conveys the growing rivalry between the two teenage New York gangs, the Jets and the Sharks.

● Somewhere – a dream ballet where the two gangs are united.

● Mambo – the competitive dance at the gym between the two gangs.

● Cha-Cha – Tony and Maria see each other for the first time and dance together.

● Meeting Scene – music which accompanies the first words Maria and Tony speak to each other.

● Cool Swing – Riff leads the Jets in harnessing their impulsive hostility.

● Finale – develops into a procession which recalls the vision of Somewhere.

Did you know?

● Elvis Presley was approached for the role of Tony in the film but turned it down.

● According to Wikipedia, the film is the highest grossing musical of all-time (2019 prices).

● A remake by Steven Spielberg is due for release in December 2020.

Robyn Morgan, Violin 2.