Speaking Music and Dance
Stephen Robert Crosby  
Addressing recent Road Scholar/Elder Hostel audience
 

1. “The Bernstein Phenomenon:
Conductor, Composer, Innovator, Icon Enigma”
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One session, up to 90 minutes. An audio/video portrait of the Bernstein you know - and the Bernstein you absolutely do not know. You will experience his precocious, world-famous conducting, his challenging musical interpretations, the triumphs and failures of his compositions, his lifelong commitment to education in his ground-breaking, erudite style, his conflicted and passionate personal life, his global stardom and more.

 

2. “Five Great Ballet Composers:
Missteps and Masterpieces”
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two to three sessions depending on time and structure. Exploring composer/choreographer collaborations and the resulting revolution in music and dance during the 80 year period from 1877 to 1957, this audio/video lecture series presents groundbreakers, colossal flops, amusing stories and star performers. Who were the key players in this transformative period? Chosen composers and featured dance works are a guarded secret to add to the fun and keep you guessing but as a hint Russia, France, England, Netherlands and the US are represented in the works and artists seen and discussed.

 


3. “Diaghilev: Visionary Iconoclast and Godfather to a Creative Revolution”
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two to three sessions depending on time and structure. For 20 years from the historic 1909 Paris opening which launched the world famous Ballets Russes, Serge Diaghilev brought together the greatest dancers, choreographers, composers, artists, set and costume designers in ground-breaking collaboration. This audio/video lecture series explores Diaghilev’s range of accomplishments, the masterpieces and failures, the high drama, the comedic fluff, the scandals and tribulations of his life and those of his creative circle. You will sample Fokine, Bakst, Debussy, Stravinsky, Picasso, Massine, Balanchine, De Falla, Prokofiev – and more. We will chronicle Diaghilev’s last days and death in 1929, marking the end of an era.

 

4. “From Bach to Rock: Inspiring Great Choreographers”, two to three sessions depending on time and structure.This audio/video lecture series showcases great dancing of diverse styles from Europe, Asia, South America and the US, set to music from the 17th through 20th centuries. The focus is on choreographers who are music-driven. Their thematic and

emotional messages range from profound to frivolous, from tragic to joyful and there will be engaging backstories on the chosen works and their creators. You will see classic perfection, iconic Americana, absurdist spoof, triple-genius collaboration, enigmatic rarity, Latin exuberance, a love-lost fairy tale, romantic jewels, war and redemption - and more.

 

5. “Illuminating Words of Faith with Music and Dance”,
three to six sessions depending on time and structure. This audio/video lecture series explores faith texts as interpreted by master composers and choreographers. The works include the Bach St. Matthew Passion, the Faure Requiem, the Stravinsky Symphony of Psalms, the Mozart Requiem, and for a change of pace, Negro Spirituals. Selections will focus on how the musicians and choreographers enhance the texts and spiritual messages.

6. "Art, Music and Dance Innovations from the Diaghilev Era",
a one hour session. This audio/video lecture focuses on two of Diaghilev's most celebrated artist/designers, Leon Bakst and Pablo Picasso. We will sample their collaborations with composers and choreographers resulting in acclaimed masterpieces, serene, exotic, spectacular, humorous.

7. "Jerome Robbins: Demon Master of Ballet and Broadway.“
This series chronicles Robbins' amazing career as dancer, choreographer, director, ambassador and visionary with examples across the spectrum of his creations. The story is told over four decades with examples of his innovations, triumphs and failures as a cross-over, wholly-American master of ballet, modern, jazz and Broadway dance. Robbins, the enigma, is revealed through observations of dancers and collaborators as well as such icons as Bernstein and Balanchine."

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