Music and Vision homepage Jenna Orkin: Writer Wannabe Seeks Brush With Death - From the heights of greatness (the Juilliard School; musicians Rosalyn Tureck and Nadia Boulanger) via way-ward paths to the depths of wickedness these reminiscences will entertain and enlighten.


<<  -- 4 --  Sissy von Kotzebue and Tess Crebbin    DANCE, BERNSTEIN!


Finally, there is 'The Success' that came with West Side Story in 1956. 'Something Coming' is followed by the Symphonic Dances from Bernstein's best-known musical that are choreographed as symphonic ballets. Further scenes show Bernstein, the party animal, Bernstein, the lover, Bernstein, the friend.

Serenade, which starts off the final section, In the Evening and through the Night, was based on Plato's Symposium, but Neumeier thinks it was based more on Bernstein himself.

'Realizing that the Serenade probably had more to do with Bernstein's own notion and experience of love than Plato's, I decided to choreograph it as a kind of biographical sketch of the composer himself. I set the piece in the New York penthouse during a party. People meet, relate, connect or don't, then part. A man sits at the piano, smoking. This man represents Bernstein himself, the keyboard is his natural center.'

Closing the circle by using, again, the image of a man at a piano and the photos of Bernstein, leaves the audience exhausted and in a strange mood somewhere between melancholic and euphoric.

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


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