Thu 21 Nov 2019

This is a FREE event for those who have purchased a West Side Story show ticket.

In partnership, Curve and De Montfort University offer a half day of talks, workshops and discussion around the historical, social and literary context of the iconic West Side Story, followed by an evening visit to the performance.

The event is aimed at students, artists, teachers and enthusiasts.  The day will have a focus on dance within musical theatre, whilst also having relevance to those interested in literature, drama and performance as a whole.

Agenda of the day:

3.15pm- 4.00pm
Sailors, Sharks and Jets: Jerome Robbins’ men
Led by Ramsay Burt, Professor of Dance History, DMU

This presentation will look at the development of Jerome Robbins’ approach to male dancing, exploring its development from Fancy Free and On The Town to West Side Story. In these works Robbins combined jazz dancing with naturalistic acting to tell stories that encapsulated aspects of the social context of their times.

4.15 – 5.00pm
‘We must have you dance’ (I.4.13): dancing Romeo and Juliet
Led by Elinor Parsons, Senior Lecturer in Drama, DMU

Elinor will examine the ways in which the language, rhythms and structure of Shakespeare’s play are transposed in West Side Story. In sharing a close analysis of the ‘Dance at the Gym’ sequence she will make a case for the transcendent possibilities offered by physical responses to Shakespeare’s play.

5.00pm – 6.00pm

Immediately followed by a panel discussion ‘Re-imagining West Side Story

Panel to include a member of the West Side Story company, Ramsay Burt, Elinor Parsons, chaired by Mel Knott, Lecturer in Dance at DMU and Associate Dance Artist at Curve

Finish time 6.00pm.

7.30pm Performance of West Side Story