And then there was the time Natascia Diaz danced for Jerome Robbins.
She was still a kid, only a few years out of Carnegie Mellon’s drama program. But she had already toured Europe in a production of “West Side Story,” playing Anita, a role she would return to over and over — and has returned to yet again, at Signature Theatre in Arlington.
Robbins was at New York City Ballet at the time, readying “West Side Story Suite,” an excerpt from the musical that included Anita’s signature number, “America,” and he was in need of a ballet understudy. It was the mid-1990s, and it just so happened that Diaz was auditioning for a new American tour of “West Side Story” that required Robbins’s casting approval. And that’s how she came to be standing in a rehearsal studio in Lincoln Center with “West Side Story’s” legendarily intimidating maestro choreographer.
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