Which is the best West Side Story dance number as revealed by Maddie Ziegler?
by Jaskiran Kaur | Sun, 06 Feb 2022 18:32:42 GMT
Image Source: Amblin Partners, Showbiz Cheat Sheet, Redbubble

Amblin Partners, Showbiz Cheat Sheet, Redbubble

Maddie Ziegler, a born dancer, will be showcasing her admirable skills on the big screen with West Side Story, the Steven Spielberg production. She plays one of the women in the jets. The actress and dancer recently revealed which of the iconic musical's dance numbers called out the most to her. The movie musical was released in theaters on December 10, and the dancer is excited for people to reach out and watch her. 

Revealing her audition process for the musical where she will be seen as Velma opposite Ice by Kyle Coffman, the actress explained the lengthy process that went into her casting. The actress also performs along with Rachel Zegler, who stars as Maria, Ansel Elgort, who plays Tony, Ariana DeBose, who is cast as Anita, and David Alvarez, who plays Bernardo. Riff is portrayed by Mike Faist, and Graziella by Paloma Garcia-Lee. 

The musical also features a special appearance by Rita Moreno, who gets to be Valentina, the shopkeeper who gets to relace Doc from the original film and the Broadway show in Spielberg's reimagined version of the musical. The actress had first played Anita and also holds an Oscar for the performance that she won at the 1962 Academy Awards.

Following the role of Anita are the roles of Graziella and Velma, the dance partners to be featured alongside the Sharks and the Jets. The characters together form the most enchanting portrayal on the screen and feature a prominent position in the dance numbers. DeBose, Lee, and Ziegler are hence the most perfect castings for the roles of these characters, owing to their notable dance backgrounds. 

The dance routines feature in West Side Story enjoy significant popularity amongst the masses for their catchy beats and moves. The original choreography in West Side Story history is owed to Jerome Robbins, who then also carried on to direct and choreograph the resulting film in 1961. The musical went on to grab both the Best Director award for him and Robert Wise, along with the Best Picture Oscars win for the film. The original choreography will, however, not be seen in the latest West Side Story version of the musical. 

Speilberg opted to fully alter the choreography and add his own elements, distinct from the previous versions. The version will use choreography by Justin Peck from Broadway. 

Revealing her favorite dance number from the musical, Maddie Ziegler said, “I think everyone’s going to be really excited to see the ‘Dance at the Gym’ scene because that’s the big dance number where everyone comes together, and there’s some really surprising elements.” 

“Dance at the Gym” remains one of the most iconic dance numbers from both the film and theater musical. The song allows all the Sharks and Jets to shine as the multiple sections of the number divide into a lengthy choreography. The dance number is most noticeably enjoyed for creating the first space to allow Tony and Maria to meet each other. 

The same number was asked of Ziegler to perform as she auditioned for the musical. Talking with V Magazine, the dancer revealed, “So, I actually auditioned in LA first. I went in. I learned choreography from the dance scene in the gym. Basically, I just did that scene quickly, then I left. I didn’t really think about it much afterward because it seemed like a longshot.”

Though the actress was feeling only a bleak hope of callback, she did receive the opportunity for another audition. Explaining how she managed to book the role for herself, she shared, “Some time passed, and all of a sudden I was flying to New York for another audition. I was so excited but nervous. Once I got into that room in New York, it hit me. I was like, ‘Oh, wait. This is the final.’"

"I think everyone I was with in New York were all the people cast in the film," she revealed. "After that audition, they immediately let me know they wanted me to come back the next day to audition again…so I did. I remember, after I did that last audition, I flew back home, and I didn’t hear anything.”

So, before Ziegler learned the final verdict, her team played a joke on her, making her think she had lost the part for good. “It was months later, and I think it was actually on Thanksgiving,” divulged the actress. “My team called me and they were like, ‘We actually have some bad news…We heard from West Side Story.’ They tricked me, but then they were like, ‘you got the part!’ I just started screaming. I was so excited.”

Maddie Ziegler also appears on Fallout; Credits: Billboard

The actress has received a lot of critical acclaim for her role in West Side Story.