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Bernstein at the Ballet

Katie Derham talks to choreographer Wayne McGregor as he prepares a new ballet to Bernstein's Chichester Psalms and explores just why Bernstein's music is so well suited to dance.

Katie Derham looks at the music of Bernstein and explores just why it's so well suited to dance. And ahead of the Royal Ballet's Bernstein centenary celebrations, Katie talks to choreographer Wayne McGregor as he prepares a new ballet to Bernstein's Chichester Psalms. They discuss the creative process, and why even a choral setting of psalms is inviting to a choreographer if the music is by Bernstein.

From the music specifically written for dance, such as West Side Story and Fancy Free with their iconic Jerome Robbins choreography, to the symphonies and choral works, Bernstein's music lends itself to dance. As Robbins himself said, "There was a power in the rhythms of his work which had a need for it to be demonstrated by dance".

1 hour

Music Played

  • Leonard Bernstein

    America (West Side Story)

    Orchestra: Orquesta Broadway. Conductor: Max Goberman.
    • COLUMBIA : CK-32603.
    • COLUMBIA.
    • 6.
  • Leonard Bernstein

    Symphony No.2 'The Age Of Anxiety' (Masque)

    Performer: Philippe Entremont. Performer: New York Philharmonic. Conductor: Leonard Bernstein.
    • SONY : SM3K-47162.
    • SONY.
  • Leonard Bernstein

    Serenade (1st mvt 'Phaedros')

    Performer: Zino Francescatti. Orchestra: New York Philharmonic. Conductor: Leonard Bernstein.
    • SONY CLASSICAL : SM3K-47162/A-C.
    • SONY CLASSICAL.
    • 1.
  • Leonard Bernstein

    Chichester Psalms (1st mvt - Psalm 108)

    Choir: Camerata Singers. Orchestra: New York Philharmonic. Conductor: Leonard Bernstein.
    • SONY CLASSICAL : SM3K-47162/A-C.
    • SONY CLASSICAL.
    • 4.
  • Leonard Bernstein

    Chichester Psalms (2nd mvt)

    Choir: Camerata Singers. Orchestra: New York Philharmonic. Conductor: Leonard Bernstein.
    • SONY CLASSICAL : SM3K-47162/A-C.
    • SONY CLASSICAL.
    • 5.
  • Leonard Bernstein

    Chichester Psalms (3rd mvt)

    Choir: Camerata Singers. Orchestra: New York Philharmonic. Conductor: Leonard Bernstein.
    • SONY CLASSICAL : SM3K-47162/A-C.
    • SONY CLASSICAL.
    • 6.
  • Esa‐Pekka Salonen

    Foreign Bodies

    Orchestra: Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Esa‐Pekka Salonen.
    • DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON : dg477-5375.
    • DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON.
    • 3.
  • Kaija Saariaho

    Notes On Light (Eclipse)

    Performer: Anssi Karttunen. Conductor: Christoph Eschenbach. Orchestra: Paris Concert Orchestra.
    • ODE 1113-2Q.
    • Ondine.
    • 4.
  • Mark-Anthony Turnage

    Blood On The Floor

    Performer: John Scofield. Performer: Peter Erskine. Performer: Martin Robertson. Ensemble: Ensemble Modern. Conductor: Peter Rundel.
    • DECCA : 455-2922.
    • DECCA.
    • 1.
  • Leonard Bernstein

    3 Dance episodes from 'On the town'

    Orchestra: Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Leonard Slatkin.
    • EMI Eminence ‎: 7243 5 65745 2 6.
    • EMI Eminence.
    • 13.
  • Leonard Bernstein

    Dance at the Gym (West Side Story)

    Orchestra: Orquesta Broadway. Conductor: Max Goberman.
    • COLUMBIA : CK-32603.
    • COLUMBIA.
    • 4.

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