West Side Story is pump­ing en­ergy

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - MPILETSO MOTUMI mpiletso.motumi@inl.co.za

JOBURGERS who are plan­ning to watch the West Side Story pro­duc­tion are in for a treat.

Yes­ter­day, the me­dia was in­vited to see the fi­nal dress­re­hearsal be­fore the cast be­gins the live shows.

Chore­og­ra­pher Louisa Tal­bot said the mu­si­cal, show­ing at the Joburg Theatre in Braam­fontein, was full of en­ergy.

“It’s about two ri­val gangs, and we tried to keep the chore­og­ra­phy as rel­e­vant as pos­si­ble. I and di­rec­tor Matthew Wild had lengthy dis­cus­sions on how gang mem­bers would move. We tried to get a move­ment lan­guage for each group – the Sharks and the Jets,” she said.

Tal­bot said she would la­bel the chore­og­ra­phy con­tem­po­rary hip-hop and phys­i­cal theatre.

“Any move­ment needs to come from the real place, so that’s the main thing peo­ple will see.”

West Side Story is a mu­si­cal that is loved glob­ally, and after a suc­cess­ful run at the Artscape Opera House in Cape Town, the pro­duc­tion opens in Joburg to­day.

The two-and-a-half-hour pro­duc­tion is packed with danc­ing and singing.

“There are many dif­fer­ent forms of danc­ing, like fight chore­og­ra­phy, and we worked to­gether as a team. From the cast to the mu­si­cal di­rec­tor, 30 heads are bet­ter than one, so we feed off each other to cre­ate a won­der­ful pro­duc­tion.”

Re­hears­ing for such a show is stren­u­ous for the cast mem­bers.

The new cast did pre-re­hearsals with the re­turn­ing cast, Tal­bot said.

“Each one had to learn with their own tracks and then we all came to­gether for three weeks in Cape Town to prac­tise. When we got to Joburg we had about 10 days to get it to­gether. It’s hard be­cause I’m al­ways on their case for the big­ger dance num­bers.”

The show runs un­til March 5. Tick­ets at Com­puticket from R200.


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