The curtain has just gone down on a triple bill that contains two world premieres. Here is a first look at the Bernstein Centenary programme.
The Royal Ballet celebrates the centenary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth with an all-Bernstein programme from the Company’s three associate choreographers: Wayne McGregor, Liam Scarlett and Christopher Wheeldon.
This mixed programme is part of Leonard Bernstein at 100, the world-wide celebration of the 100th birthday of Leonard Bernstein, the composer, conductor, educator, musician, cultural ambassador and humanitarian.
Wayne McGregor and The Royal Ballet celebrate Leonard Bernstein’s centenary with the world premiere of a new work, set to the Chichester Psalms.
Leonard Bernstein was one of the first classical composers in America to achieve both popular and critical acclaim. He was eclectic in his sources – drawing on jazz and modernism, the traditions of Jewish music and the Broadway musical – and many of Bernstein’s scores are remarkably well suited to dance. He was particularly associated with Jerome Robbins, their credits together including Fancy Free and West Side Story. To celebrate the centenary year of the composer’s birth, The Royal Ballet has united all three of its associate choreographers to celebrate the dynamic range and danceability of Bernstein’s music.
To mark the centenary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth, Christopher Wheeldon creates a new work for The Royal Ballet, Corybantic Games, on the music of Serenade (after Plato’s Symposium).
The Age of Anxiety
At the heart of the programme is the first revival of Artist in Residence Liam Scarlett’s The Age of Anxiety, created in 2014 to Bernstein’s soul-searching Second Symphony. Both symphony and ballet are inspired by W.H. Auden’s masterful modernist poem.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.