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Dancers perform in the Leonard Bernstein ballet 'Fancy Free.' Image courtesy Boston Symphony Orchestra

PREVIEW: Tanglewood to present fully staged Bernstein ballet

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By Friday, Aug 17, 2018 Arts & Entertainment 1

Lenox — All manner of improbable acts have appeared at Tanglewood over the last half-century or so including the Who, Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. and Bob Dylan. But how many fully staged ballet productions have you seen performed on Tanglewood’s Shed stage? The answer, of course, is, “Nearly one.” It would be unprecedented. Precedent, however, will fall by the wayside at Tanglewood on the evening of Saturday, Aug. 18, when Andris Nelsons, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Ballet present a fully staged performance of Leonard Bernstein’s ballet “Fancy Free” using Jerome Robbins’ original choreography. This will be the BSO’s first collaboration with the Boston Ballet.

Bernstein and Robbins’ hit Broadway musical “On the Town” (performed brilliantly at Tanglewood on July 7) was loosely based on the story, music and choreography of “Fancy Free.”

Jerome Robbins is probably best known for his choreography in “West Side Story,” and you needn’t be a dance aficionado to appreciate his signature style. He knew how to keep an audience engaged with dance moves that tell a story naturally, and that’s why he won so many awards.

The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s “Fancy Free” podcast:

Saturday’s all-Bernstein program includes his “Divertimento for Orchestra” (composed for the BSO’s centenary celebration in 1980); and the “Serenade” for violin and orchestra, featuring violinist Baiba Skride.


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  1. Leif Steinert says:

    Here’s an excerpt with Danilo Radojevic, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Christopher d’Amboise. American Ballet Theatre 1981. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oSai4HgolA

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