News

Here’s the First Official Photo of the New “West Side Story” Movie Cast

Amblin Entertainment

Steven Spielberg's much-anticipated remake of West Side Storychoreographed by Justin Peck, and starring a bevy of very good dancers—is in production. And that means it's finally time for us to get a look at the film's cast members in character. Let's break down the first photo from the project.



It may not be especially dance-y, but it does feature several of the film's dance stars.

Unsurprisingly, Ansel Elgort (who is, let's not forget, an excellent tap dancer) and Rachel Zegler are front and center as Tony and Maria. They're flanked by the Jets (from left, Ezra Menas as Anybodys, Ben Cook as Mouthpiece, Sean Harrison Jones as Action, Mike Faist as Riff, and Patrick Higgins as Baby John) and the Sharks (David Alvarez as Bernardo, Julius Anthony Rubio as Quique, Ricardo Zayas as Chago, Josh Andrés Rivera as Chino, Sebastian Serra as Braulio, and Carlos Sánchez Falú as Pipo).

Here's hoping we get a glimpse of Ariana DeBose's Anita sometime in the very near future—not to mention notable ensemblists Maddie Ziegler, Paloma Garcia-Lee, Ricky Ubeda, Gaby Diaz, Eloise Kropp, Jeanette Delgado and Brittany Pollack, to name just a few.

Broadway
The "Merde" bag. Courtesy Scenery

Jennifer Kahn knew the theater industry could do better. As a professional stage manager for 17 years she worked on regional, off-Broadway and Broadway shows. Nearly each time a show closed, something unsettling happened: "I would watch them throw away our shows. All of the beautiful artwork by my friends in the paint shop would go in the trash." The elaborate backdrops? Gone.

But she had an idea: What if the material used in the backdrops and legs could be upcycled into something new? And what if theater lovers could literally keep a piece of a beloved show?

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Sponsored by Harlequin Floors
Left: Hurricane Harvey damage in Houston Ballet's Dance Lab; Courtesy Harlequin. Right: The Dance Lab pre-Harvey; Nic Lehoux, Courtesy Houston Ballet.

"The show must go on" may be a platitude we use to get through everything from costume malfunctions to stormy moods. But when it came to overcoming a literal hurricane, Houston Ballet was buoyed by this mantra to go from devastated to dancing in a matter of weeks—with the help of Harlequin Floors, Houston Ballet's longstanding partner who sprang into action to build new floors in record time.

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News
Photo by Gabriel Davalos, Courtesy Valdés

For decades the name Alicia Alonso has been virtually synonymous with Ballet Nacional de Cuba, the company she co-founded in Havana in 1948. Alonso died on October 17, just shy of what would have been her 99th birthday. In recent years, she had stepped back from day-to-day decision-making in the company. As if preparing for the future, in January, the company's leading ballerina, 42-year-old Viengsay Valdés, was named deputy director, a job that seems to encompass most of the responsibilities of a traditional director. Now, presumably, she will step into her new role as director of the company. Her debut as curator of the repertory comes in November, when the troupe will perform three mixed bills selected by her at the Gran Teatro de la Habana Alicia Alonso. The following has been translated from a conversation conducted in Spanish, Valdés' native tongue.

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Health & Body
Sara Mearns in the gym. Photo by Kyle Froman.

New York City Ballet principal Sara Mearns wasn't sure she was strong enough. A ballerina who has danced many demanding full-length and contemporary roles, she was about to push herself physically more than she thought was possible.

"I said, 'I can't. My body won't,' " she says. "He told me, 'Yes, it will.' "

She wasn't working with a ballet coach, but with personal trainer Joel Prouty, who was asking her to do squats with a heavier barbell than she'd ever used.

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