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Julian Wiles, Founder and Producing Artistic Director
Marybeth Clark, Associate Artistic Director

August 27, 2008

West Side Story -A Dream

Filed under: Back Stage Blog — julianw @ 1:57 pm

I’ve always hated dream ballets in musicals,  They always seemed silly and contrived to me and often unnecessary (which is why they are often cut or shortened in modern productions).  But this week Guest choreographer Kevin Hill staged the second act dream ballet for West Side Story, a sequence that retells in dance the tragedy of Maria and Tony.  There is no dialogue in the sequence,   the orchestra plays the lyrical  “Somewhere” and is joined by a beautiful offstage soprano, (Cathy Ardrey in our production).  Of course we didn’t have the orchestra at rehearsal, just a single piano, and Cathy was out of town so Wendell Smith, our Music Director (not a soprano) sang”Somewhere”  softly as the dancers went through their paces.    And there in the rehearsal hall, with no orchestra, no sets or costumes, this beautiful and moving story came magically to life simply in the movement of the dancers.  It was beautiful, a dream.    I couldn’t believe I was moved to tears by a sequence I’d actually thought about cutting from the show. I can’t wait for you to see it.

Marybeth Clark, Director for West Side Story.

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