“Cool” is one of the finest examples of the energetic choreography of Jerome Robbins and is one of my favorite sequences from the film, West Side Story. Robbins co-directed the film (he created the choreography for the show’s original Broadway run) and rehearsed the dancers through all of the numbers before filming began. He was a perfectionist and, as filming began, shot take after take of each scene, causing the shoot to begin running over budget and behind schedule very early in the production. Robbins was soon barred from the set and the film was finished by co-director Robert Wise. But clearly Robbins’ influence can be seen in every step the dancers make.
Billy Elliot was originally a movie that was turned into a musical by Elton John. It’s the story of a boy who pursues his dream of being a dancer despite fierce opposition from his family and community. Tajo saw the musical on Broadway and immediately decided he wanted to be a dancer, too. Here’s a terrific number from the stage production.