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Dear Lenny Spring Dance Concert
April 27 @ 7:00 pm - April 28 @ 9:30 pm$5 – $8
The College of Southern Nevada and
CSN DANCE Commemorates
Leonard Bernstein Centennial
Spring Dance Concert
Friday April 27 at 7:00 PM and Saturday April 28 at 2:00 PM
Many American baby boomers will recall with fondness and gratitude the mercurial presence of the inimitable conductor, composer, pianist, and educator, Leonard Bernstein. His pioneering telecasts of Young People’s Concerts, beginning in the 1950’s, turned on a whole new generation of listeners to the wonders of concert music. As someone totally immersed in his subject-matter, yet blessed intuitively to be able to communicate his love and a degree of understanding of music theory to the masses, Bernstein was a welcome periodic presence for decades on the airwaves of American television. Leonard Bernstein’s influence on music culture continues to be felt throughout the world today. Countless music practitioners, both amateurs and professionals, as well as everyday folks, have had their souls enriched and their aesthetic horizons lifted by the efforts of this one exuberant being.
Bearing this in mind we join a host of tributes this year organized internationally to commemorate Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday. Born August 25, 1918 in Lawrence, Massachusetts, the musician’s dynamic life came to an untimely close at the age of 72 in New York City on October 14, 1990.
With the onset of piano studies at age ten, Lenny (as he was called by friends and family members) embraced a musical life that included rapid progress as a pianist, conductor and composer.
Bernstein first came to the attention of the American public in 1943 during a national radio broadcast of a New York Philharmonic Concert. The 25 year old assistant conductor was called on at a moment’s notice to replace the ailing Bruno Walter, at the podium. Without time to study the concert scores, the young assistant took the reins of the orchestra, leading it through a triumphant performance. This dramatic public introduction lead him, with his boisterous, dancy conducting style and intense musical interpretations, to the eventual artistic directorship of not only the New York Philharmonic, but many orchestras around the globe.
Like one of his musical heroes, Gustav Mahler, Lenny regretted not having more free time to compose new works. Yet, time restrictions failed to completely stifle his voracious creative appetites. Bernstein’s eclectic musical interests surfaced in a significant number of opuses from Broadway musicals to film scores, ballets, operas, symphonies and chamber and choral works.
Our presentation of “Dear Lenny” comprises a limited cross-section of the composer’s output. Choreographer, Kelly Roth, who grew up watching Bernstein’s televised musical lecture/demonstrations, and later discussed his own choreographic renderings of Mahler with the maestro in New York, has selected a representative sampling of Bernstein’s compositional flavors.
Excerpts include the jazzy Prelude, Fugue, and Riffs, movements from Bernstein’s violin concerto, Serenade, as well as his piano concerto, Symphonie #2. From theater works Roth has chosen sections from the ground-breaking musical West Side Story, the overture to the operetta Candide, and a re-imagined scene from the three sailors on leave in the big city ballet, Fancy Free. An excerpt from the Mass, and some miniature piano pieces found in Bernstein’s Anniversary series further inform the dance suite.
The title of the tribute is explained by CSN Dance Program Director, Kelly Roth: “As a young choreographer in New York, I was thrilled to live just three blocks from the Dakota, the famous upper west side apartment building that housed not only John Lennon, but Leonard Bernstein. Whenever I was giving a concert in the city I would send Bernstein an invitation. I even sent him postcards from vacations and a wedding invitation. These correspondences always began, ‘Dear Lenny’. This new ballet represents my final choreographic postcard to this musical giant.”
In addition to the Bernstein tribute, choreographer Leslie Kremer Roth premieres much anticipated new choreography. With an original viola composition written specifically for her to choreograph by her son, Tobias Roth, Leslie Kremer Roth partners with long-time colleague and dear friend Noel Brown, to give movement to their varied interpretations of “Home.”
Completing the program is the promising new work of CSN Dance Certificate candidate, Kaylee Hannig. “Crossing Paths,” explores the relationship of interaction and energy between the dancers. When creating the movement Kaylee was inspired by connections between individuals, and how others can positively affect one’s life.
The concert takes place Friday, April 27, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, April 28, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. in the Nicholas J. Horn Theatre. General Admission is $8.00, students and seniors $5.00. Tickets can be purchased online at: www.csn.edu/pac.
For more information, please call the CSN Box Office at (702) 651-LIVE (5483).
CSN’s Performing Arts Center provides quality artistic, cultural, educational, and entertainment opportunities for the college and the community. It is located at 3200 East Cheyenne Avenue in North Las Vegas.
For more information on CSN’s Dance Program call (702) 651-4201.
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