Music On Love And Music In The West Side Story

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‘West Side Story’ ( 1961) dir. Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins and ‘Flash Dance’(1983) dir. Adrian Lynn, are musicals with a narrative focused on love, romance and the struggles that comes with relationships, however it is not the narrative that makes a musical work, a key part to musicals unsurprisingly are the songs and dance numbers executed within the films. “Far from simply providing an alternative to silence – as does background music in other Hollywood films – the musical’s music (as well as dance) enters into a process of signification whereby it comes to stand for personal and communal joy; expressing a romantic triumph over the limitations of nature and communal society, and of economics, music becomes the signifier par excellence…show more content…
The opening sequence also has a connotation of power and masculinity through Dance, instead of physically fighting, although in the world of the film we are to believe they result to violence and being physical, during their routine neither gang actually lays a finger on each other, making the routine more…show more content…
Their relationship is one that expresses how important dance and songs are to the development of narrative and plot within the musical genre, in order to communicate to each other Tony attempts to speak some Spanish. In his attempt to breach the cultural gap between Maria and himself it puts a focus on the use of song, in order to communicate competently Maria and Tony have to sign to each other, only then can they truly and freely express how they feel for each other without being censored by the world outside of their personal relationship. As mention earlier on, the narrative in ‘West Side Story’ is a modern re-telling of the Shakespeare classic Romeo and Juliet. In the re-tale of the balcony scene featured in Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story, we hear speeches from the characters concerning their shared issue of forbidden love. This moment is very important part of the plot, first of all we hear the song “Tonight” in which they sing about the perfect situation, one in which they can be together, the last two notes are the same as those played at the beginning of the song, signifying the continuation of the plot sequence, aligns the two characters together as secret lovers and is a very delicate and moving movement to witness between Maria and Tony, but it is also the moment in which everything else seemingly falls

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