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<<  -- 3 --  Sissy von Kotzebue and Tess Crebbin    DANCE, BERNSTEIN!


The next segment is 'The City', meaning New York, where, as Neumeier calls it, a 'cluster' of music came into being. The song 'What a waste' from the musical Wonderful Town (1944/1953) shows how Bernstein must have felt in those early days when he tried to be heard:

'Go home!
Go west!
Go back where you came from!
Oh, why did you ever leave Ohio?
A million kids just like you come to town ev'ry day.
With stars in their eyes
They're gonna grab off the Pulitzer prize.
But it's a terrible pity
Because they're in for a bitter surprise.
And their stories all follow one line.
Like his,
Like his,
Like mine ...'

'New York is the place where Bernstein struggled as a young man, looking for a job, then made his breakthrough and later achieved great fame,' Neumeier elaborates.

A scene from 'Bernstein Dances'. Photo © Holger Badekow
A scene from 'Bernstein Dances'. Photo © Holger Badekow

In the third section, Neumeier seeks to express Bernstein's spirituality and inner values, using the music of Mass and the song So pretty that Bernstein wrote in opposition to the Vietnam War. 'This section also reflects Bernstein's humanistic commitment to protecting human rights,' explains John Neumeier.

As a consequence, A simple song is a pas de deux of two male soloists. So pretty, a song for Barbara Streisand, is danced by a female soloist and expresses fragments of Bernstein's inner monologues.

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Copyright © 26 June 2004 Sissy von Kotzebue and Tess Crebbin, Germany


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