Here's where it is on the map.

Robbins was an exacting and exhausting taskmaster. For the final scene, however, the playground was recreated in a studio. Now they are on West 68th Street in front of #243, which is mid-block. A second, lower deck for cars and trucks (which is why I had initially discounted the bridge) was built between late 1959 and August 1962. Ballet gave the choreography grace; jazz and genius gave it personality. The Sharks are Puerto Ricans, Why wasn't this page useful? They dance across the street and jump up.... ...then come down at the other end of the block, in front of the school at 68th and Amsterdam. ", Another way to match up addresses is to do a Google search for the store names on buildings. CUT TO: the far western end of 68th Street. This result came up. Let's look now at the opening of the movie. sign that it's "block" #1159 and "lot" #40 in "M" Manhattan.

That school is between 147th and 148th; midway between 8th Ave and 7th Ave. The school behind the gangs is new, having replaced an older one after the movie came out. The "school playground" he writes about will be 110th Street. The black arrow points to where the gang confrontation was. The insurance-map of the street (from the Library) confirms that there was a garage there. Here's the school from the ground level. Another method to find where a scene was shot is by zooming into facts on photos.

94 on the top right. Match These Taylor Swift Songs to Her Ex-Boyfriends, HOT SONG: 21 Savage x Metro Boomin - "My Dawg​" - LYRICS, NEW SONG: Rod Wave - POP SMOKE - "MOOD SWINGS" ft. Lil Tjay - LYRICS. The dancers would jump up on the West Side and come down on the East Side." You can see the school playground on the right where all the action takes place. Robbins' acute observation and his mastery of ballet informed the style of each leap and gesture in West Side Story.Street gangs and gang warfare -- a very present reality in New York City at the time the show's creators envisioned it -- were rough, suggestive, crude, violent, and possessed of a distinctive swagger. Here it is as seen with the rest of the Columbia campus. Note: why Jerome Robbins is in shorts sleeves, I don't know. You can see snow on the ground. The choreographer-director emerged as an American theater specialty in the work of Jerome Robbins, his protégé Bob Fosse, and other dancer-dramatists who understood the powerful impact of dance on an audience. So, if you pan your view left, when you arrive at the open pit, that's the exact spot where the school was on 68th Street in the film where the Jets danced in the prologue. But the prologue was actually filmed in two locations and edited together. Here's another photo, also from that day, of Jerome Robbins choreographing a dance number. "St. Matthew's Rectory" is circled on the map (below) at # 216 West 68th Street. here. Take away the choreography, and you have a concept, an idea, but never the flesh-and-blood unforgettable adventure that struts and frets [its] hour upon the stage - and sweeps up generations of theater-goers in its relentless dance. The sequence ends with a ZOOM into the playground where the dancing part of the prologue begins. Then comes a shot, along the river next to the West Side Highway, of the SS United States docked at Pier 76 (where they now hold towed cars) at West 38th Street and 12th Avenue. Notice all the boarded up windows. (The large gas tanks in the background are not there anymore).

They then come upon Bernardo (a Shark) in the exterior alcove of the building next to the school on 68th. Followed by an illustration of where it was on the block. The style of West Side Story relies on fiery dynamics, belligerent staccato, syncopation, exaggerated extensions -- particularly high leg lifts -- and the lyrical moves of the lovers and the bereaved. (I wonder what kind of dance that kid is doing?). It's ", This is that same building as seen in the prologue. Because by 1961 the stores had closed - because the building they were in were about to be demolished - and they wouldn't be in the phone book.). (Yes, that's right, vegetables! Riff, the leader, gets a basketball and isn't sure he's going to give it back to -- yes, McCauley Culkin's father - in a bit part as a youth. Now we fly north a few blocks to Broadway at Bowling Green (a park). And that's it. Robbins succeeded so brilliantly in fusing ballet and jazz that his Symphonic Dances, adapted for the New York City Ballet almost verbatim from the WSS choreography, is a staple of the company's repertory. Here we see there was an Endicott Express store at 241 West 68th in 1958.

Lyrics to 'Prologue' by Westside Story. We're coming into the final triangle, which will take up from Central Park up to 147th, then back down to 110th. Here is where that would have been on the map.

These curvy ramps lead cars off 40th Street into the back of the Port Authority Building (a large bus terminal) at the top right. Now we jump to northern Harlem - to 147th Street between Frederick Douglas Boulevard (8th Avenue) and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard (7th Avenue). This scene was filmed at the west end of 68th Street, looking southwest at a residential building on the northwest corner of 66th Street and West End Avenue. He exhorted his dancers, all highly trained professionals in the classic arts, to stroll or step across the stage like tough young hoods and segue into the dancing. The actors have written that they had a great time making this scene, but after each take they had to change completely to get the paint off- so it took many hours to film it - and the actors got giddy by late in the day.). He rehearsed and reviewed each dance endlessly, running so far over budget when the Broadway show was made into the award-winning movie that he was fired from the film. They are in front of #249 West 68th Street as we saw in the earlier photo with Jerome Robbins.

These were some of the buildings that were replaced. Here's the scene again. The first shot is looking down at the George Washington Bridge.

The movie West Side Story (1961) is an updated version of Romeo & Juliet as told through the lives of two Upper West Side street gangs in New York City: The Sharks (mostly recent Puerto Rican immigrants) and the Jets (mostly second generation European immigrants) circa 1960. Street gangs and gang warfare -- a very present reality in New York City at the time the show's creators envisioned it -- were rough, suggestive, crude, violent, and possessed of a distinctive swagger. The picture below depicts the "Lincoln Center Urban Renewal Project" area circa 1960. There is also snow on the ground at left to the left of Robbins' knee. 90), it's now the National Dance Institute. And yes, certain vegetables WERE harmed during the making of this movie.). This is a photo of the block - 68th Street between Amsterdam Ave and West End Ave - on which much of the prologue of West Side Story was filmed.

He plans to make the challenge to Bernardo, the Sharks' … We are above Madison Avenue and 51st Street looking south. ", To locate it, first I go to the microfilm room at the New York Public Library where they have old phone books on microfilm. -Accumiliation. Here's that shot superimposed over a shot of the actual schoolyard. Here's where that dock is located on the Hudson River. (CLICK TO ENLARGE), Peter Longo, a PopSpots reader and fan of West Side Story sent me some interesting information about Barry Kelly, whose likeness was used for Al Wood, the politician whose posters are seen in the introduction.

Search for "Peter Longo Golf Show. (The platform has mysteriously vanished.) The Sharks discover him, then run after him -- directly under where the Sharks were a minute ago dropping paint on some other Jets. This is a shot of the Lincoln Center neighborhood from 1956. The bridge connects Manhattan's Harlem to the Bronx. The camera shows the Jets from Bernardo's point-of-view. (Beam me up, fellas!). #180 West 68th Street would be a block east, between Columbus and Amsterdam. The gang leaves the schoolyard and walks down the street. There's more detail in the photo below. He enters into the 110th Street playground (which is now, in real life, closed to the public, by the way - though you can look in) followed by the gang members of both sides -- and then, the local detective in charge of juvenile delinquents.

"), IMDB, which confirms that Kelly's picture was Wood, adds: "The "Al Wood" posters are in reference to Allen K. Wood, who was one of the production designers. It somewhat seems like we are "flying" over the island from north to south, but as this diagram of the locations of the various shots shows, it's a rather random route. It starts with the sound of a long whistle (like a gang call) and then opens a picture of the buildings at the base of Manhattan. condensationof the growing rivalry between They are in front of St. Matthew's Rectory which is mid-block on 68th street.

Robbins' acute observation and his mastery of ballet informed the style of each leap and gesture in West Side Story. The scenes between the Jets and the Sharks supposedly take place around one block surrounding the playground of a school, the "turf" often fought over. A lifted shoulder, an outflung arm, or a stomping foot telegraph intent and action as well as any lyric or line in West Side Story.

(The opening, half danced half mimed, is a That was filmed on the western and southern end of the block, where some buildings had already been knocked down. The dance at the gym is controlled violence, a stand-in for the murderous melee to follow. (you can CLICK TO ENLARGE IT.). You can see on this map of Lincoln Towers where the street would have been.

Moving all the way across town now, we are above the UN at 43rd Street and 1st Avenue. They are warned by police officers Krupke and Lt. Schrank to stop fighting on their beat.

In this next shot, if you look to the right, you can see the back half of St. Patrick's Cathedral (see next picture) . Notice where it says Public School No.

The choreography is a key reason the brilliant departure from conventional Broadway musicals endures and pops up everywhere from high school stages to Times Square flash mobs. 110th Street and 68th Street workin' together to create a mythical stage for the epic love story, West Side Story, the musical based on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet about star crossed lovers whose lives are tragically compromised by their relationships with the local, rival gangs - the Sharks and the Jets. (Why 1953? All Rights Reserved. It was half-way demolished, especially the southern side of the block; it would soon be completely demolished. That translates, as we can see in the map below, to 210 West 68th Street.

Every snap, flick of the wrist, and audacious step is a declaration of bravado, arrogance, threat, and conflict. 249 West 68th Street) above a door. The skating rink is off to the left. You can see the trees along the New Jersey bank of the Hudson River in the background, in gray, just below the skyline. There are no wasted steps and no wasted words in West Side Story. He shaped female character with more sinuous and suggestive action: swishing skirts, flamenco foot-stamping, balletic steps to convey romance, and open arms and chest to reveal heart. They are filming on the block where the numbers go from #200 to #299 West 68th. The playground was also the setting for the final, tragic death scene. We CUT TO: One of the Sharks, back on 68th Street, is taunting the Jets.... ...who come running to get him past some political posters (a fictitious person, I believe, but whose name, according to IMDB, is based on the West Side Story production designer Allen K. Wood)... ...two Sharks about to toss paint on them. And a shot of Lincoln Center after the dust lifted. The Jet being chased now runs down 110th Street, which means (if the last scene were real life) that he has just run about 2 miles northeast from 68th Street on the west side of Manhattan to East Harlem on the east side.).