The movie takes place in the West Side of New York, in the late 1950s.The Jets are a teenage gang of American boys determined not only to check but to destroy the growth of Puerto Rican population and influence on their block. They are opposed by a Puerto Rican gang, the Sharks, led by Bernardo. In the entirely dance sene, the members of the two rival gangs provoke each other. A fight breaks out between them, but it's broken up by the arrival of two cops. After the police has got rid of the Puerto Ricans, Riff, the leader of the Jets, informs his gang that he will challenge Bernardo to a decisive rumble that night at a dance.
"America" is a song from the musical West Side Story, with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The story is based on Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare, but is set in New York in the 1950s with themes of racial gang warfare. The musical was groundbreaking because of its sophisticated musical style and pioneering dance sequences. The music has elements of opera, musical, jazz and Latin-American dance influences. "America" is one of the most well-known songs from the show, and is a debate between Anita - the leader of Shark gang (Bernardo's) girlfriend and Rosalia - another Shark girl.
Figure 1: The Jet’s Leitmotif (2000: 115) This leitmotif is used throughout the musical and is even seen in ‘America’ which is the Puerto Rican’s comical song. This recurrent use of the same leitmotif keeps the audience focused on the conflict between the gangs through to the last note. The use of bitonality is another technique Bernstein uses to demonstrate the ongoing rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks. In the opening of ‘Tonight (Ensemble)’, which is sung by both Americans and Puerto Ricans, the lower part of the orchestra are providing a steady bass line in E major, with the high... ... middle of paper ... ... (2000) The making of West Side Story. Ontario: Mosaic Press.
During this national day people celebrate America’s independence. This film is still such a popular film because sharks are one of our worst dreadful fears in life. In the film the music is very interesting the music can make you think what’s going to happen in particular scenes in the film. For example the second attack on the small young boy who was paddling on a craft and when he was about to get attacked the music gets louder, faster, thrilling, much effective and that makes the audience think that the shark is near by and is going to attack. When the music is really loud and fast the shark attacks but we don’t see the shark.
It originated as an adaption of neo jazz. The swing era arrived when the great depression arrived. This era was popular because it is said to be that people started dancing off their anxiety and depression. In the swing era there were dyads, which are two people groups. In the club there were many couples dancing and singing as popular swing bands enlightened the club.
The dancing moves are both exciting and sexy. In Cuba, they dance to a type of Salsa Timba. The movement is fast as in Afro Cuban music. Cuban Musicians have blended in the popular Reggae and Pop music in between the breaks. The dancing style is called “Casino” simply because when it was started it was played in gambling joints or casinos.
Americans alienate Puerto Rican immigrants adapting to a new way of life, most obvious in the continual feuding between the local gang, the Jets, and the Puerto Rican Sharks. The song "America," in part, is about how American culture treats Puerto Ricans like second-class citizens, and the tensions between the two gangs sometimes conclude to "your skin is a different color than mine.” Throughout the musical the Puerto Ricans are treated by far worse than the white gang. When the two gangs get into a fight at the very beginning of the musical, the Puerto Ricans encounter a great amount of abuse from the law enforcement officers. No one wants them there and they act as if the Puerto Ricans have less of privilege to be there. If there had been no racism and no issues with these new immigrants, then the groups would have not been treated differently one from the other.
An example is the Krupke Song sung by the Jets. They are essentially mocking how the cops treat them as hoodlums and they express that they were brought up in terrible ways which is why they are such "hoodlums." This provokes a lot of thought on how we think of gang members and criminals. Another very intriguing idea is how harshly the authorities treat the Puerto Ricans. This leads one to reflect on whether or not the Puerto Rican hatred of the American life is just.
This play follows the lives of Maria and Tony a couple whose background in significantly different and takes place in the 1950′s in New York City. It follows the love of the couple, Tony a man from the Polish American working class gang and Maria the sister of Bernardo the leader of a Puerto Rican
The fast beat combined with the percussion and volume creates an atmosphere of suspense that something is coming to attack someone. The final three ‘shrieks’ is put in to scare us and mark the end. These ‘shrieks’ suggest what is to come. Another example of where music is used to build tension is when the man falls into the sea, after the jetty he was standing on, gets pulled out to sea by the shark.