'West Side Story' Flash Mob Takes Over Times Square

By Mathew Katz on November 11, 2011 3:45pm 

MIDTOWN — When you're a Jet, you're a Jet all the way — even in the middle of Times Square.

Dozens of professional dancers spontaneously burst into the "West Side Story" choreography in Times Square Friday afternoon to mark the 50th anniversary of the Academy Award-winning film that came out in 1961, a few years after it was a hit on Broadway.

Dancers swarmed Duffy Square at noon, recreating the the iconic snap-and-dance-fight choreography for three minutes, and then disappeared from Duffy Square as quickly as they came.

The flash mob was organized by YouTube's dance video network, DanceOn, to promote the release of the 50th anniversary Blu-ray edition of the film.

Choreographer Joshua Bergasse re-created the flash mob, made up of many performers that appeared in productions of West Side Story around the country. Six of those present were part of the 2009 Broadway revival of the show.

"West Side's such an iconic dance film," said Philip Byron, one of the event's organizers. "We felt the need to support this film that's changed a lot of peoples' lives in the industry."

The dancers were met with a loud applause once their finished their short set. Musical fan Jessie Kavanagh, 22, said she loved the event.

"I've never seen a flash mob. It was really fun," she said. "Even though I'm not a dancer, I'd love to do something like this."

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