Professional dancers urged to audition for "West Side Story"


The Philippine production of West Side Story will run for five weeks this September at the Meralco Theater. Dancers who want to participate in this groundbreaking musical may join the auditions scheduled this April 27.


STAGES will hold a dancers' audition for the Manila production of West Side Story on April 27 (Sunday). Jurors will conduct the audition from 6 to 10 p.m. at Steps Dance Studio, Bldg. C Karrivin Plaza, Pasong Tamo Extension, Makati City.

Considered as one of the best musicals of all time, West Side Story debuted on Broadway in 1957, and revolutionized musical theater by making dance an integral part of the show. Master choreographer Jerome Robbins interpreted the gang fights in breathtaking dance sequences.

Set in New York City, West Side Story is a re-telling of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. An American youth gang, known as the Jets, is in a bitter turf war against Puerto Rican youngsters, called the Sharks. Conflict is heightened when Tony, a Jet, falls in love with Maria, the only sister of the Sharks' leader, Bernardo.

For the Manila production, STAGES has cast Asia's Pop Idol Christian Bautista to play Tony. Stage director Audie Gemora is currently completing the lead characters of this groundbreaking musical. "This is perhaps the hardest musical to cast because everyone has to be a triple threat, meaning they should be able to act, sing, and dance," says Gemora.

"We need young people, especially males who can dance. It seems that today's youth are more into street dancing. Looking for dancers with jazz background is like finding a needle in a haystack. But I believe they are out there. We are calling on professional dance groups, ballet companies and schools, as well as college dance clubs and cheer dancing squads to send their dancers to try out for the musical. We want to find young people who have great dance potential, and train them to execute Jerome Robbins' classic choreography," he adds.

Choreographer James Laforteza has been tasked to whip the cast into form. He has six months to achieve this in time for West Side Story's five-week run in September 2008 at the Meralco Theater.

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STAGES is also inviting fund-raising groups and show promoters to buy shows of West Side Story. For inquiries, call STAGES at 8943735 or 8181111 loc. 225.


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