West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein.

Gérard Lecointe, transcription and musical direction; Jean Lacornerie, staging; Étienne Guiol, illustration; Bruno de Lavenère, scenography; Robin Chemin, costumes.

The work that I did for this production of West Side Story is a logical continuation of the ideas I have been trying to develop in terms of images. The show was designed as a concert performance by the Percussions Claviers de Lyon and several vocal soloists. The role of the images is to evoke the urban atmosphere that is typical of Bernstein’s composition and to create a feeling of movement that reminds spectators of the musical comedy by Leonard Bernstein and Arthur Laurents and of the urban dance movements in the film by Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise. The animated drawings I have created are close in form to animated film, although they should not be considered part of a film screening, but rather as a scenic element in their own right. They are a symbolic or figurative portrayal of the atmosphere that is created by the percussionists and the singers. This reinterpretation of West Side Story introduces a new facet of the choreography which takes on a form that is fundamentally different from the original version. The original inspiration of the work is present: the score, the songs and the city are here, but in a very direct, lifelike manner. The projected images are mixed with scenic elements that are once again indicative of the atmosphere of the work; for example, several curtains made of chains filter and multiply the projected images. The percussionists and the singers bring Leonard Bernstein’s rhythmic score to life in this concrete and virtual atmosphere that nonetheless always remains figurative.

Gérard Lecointe



Production MNM, in collaboration with Percussions Claviers de Lyon, copresentation Montréal en lumière