When West Side Story opened on Broadway in 1957, it marked a turning point in the development of American musical theater.
In addition to the dark story line and the exploration of social issues, the show featured some of the most demanding and grueling choreography that had ever been seen on stage.
The amazing dance numbers were the product of the show's director and choreographer, Jerome Robbins, who went on to choreograph such Broadway hits as Fiddler on the Roof and Gypsy.
Leonard Bernstein would later take the dance selections from the score and molded them into the popular symphonic suite Symphonic Dances from West Side Story. Both the suite and the original show remain essential classics in the world of American music.