West Side Robbins Rumble

WEST SIDE ROBBINS RUMBLE

z-j he ballet step we associate with West - Side Story is a leap

a la seconde, en face. You know the move: the gang guys jump with one leg thrust out to the side. Is there a boy in America who hasn’t tried to jete like a Jet? That’s the Jerome Robbins magic! He isn’t a great Broadway choreographer JUSL because he crafts exceedingly coherent dances; he also makes a number look natural, so that audiences don’t feel hemmed in bv the highfalutin. West Side Story, of course, was a brilliant collaboration (other stars on the project were Leonard Bernstein and Stephen

Sondheim), but the edge and brio of Robbins’s dances gave the work its artful charge, its energy spiral. This month the West Side Story Suite has its premiere at New York City Ballet’s Spring Gala (May 18, with five more performances through June 4; cal! 212-870-5570). Robbins. a legendary perfectionist, is setting the main dances from the original show, which include the “Prologue,”“Dance at the enjete Gym,” “America,” “The

Rumble,” and the “Somewhere Ballet,” seen as a tantalizing tidbit in Jerome Robbins’ Broadway. To have all five dances? All one can say is “Cool, bov.” —L.J.