Audio described in-house
The American Dream turns suffocatingly sour in Leonard Bernstein’s unsparing examination of a marriage falling apart in 1950s suburbia. Sam and Dinah appear to have the perfect life in their ‘little white house’. But their growing failure to connect exposes a mutual feeling that they are trapped in a life that has turned into a lie.
Bernstein’s score is heavily influenced by the syncopated rhythms of jazz and by the distinctive American vernacular of musicals and the movies. A highlight of Opera North’s Little Greats season of short operas in 2017, Matthew Eberhardt’s production of Trouble in Tahiti is deeply touching, whilst giving full value to the Hollywood pizzazz of Dinah’s showpiece number ‘Island Magic’.
At a stroke, Bernstein’s West Side Story redefined musical theatre when it opened on Broadway in 1957. It broke new ground in several ways, not least in responding to the newly contemporary issue of gang violence in American cities, and in the way that the story-telling was driven by dance.
Bernstein himself arranged the Symphonic Dances from West Side Story as a work to stand on its own terms, free of the story of the show from which the music is derived. Taking this as his cue, Phoenix Dance Theatre’s new Artistic Director Dane Hurst choreographs a dance work which interprets Bernstein’s thrilling and poignant music outside of the narrative of West Side Story. This entirely new piece will explore the experience of young people through themes of group identity and family, conflict and violence, but also the dream of a better life, somewhere.
Image description: Two men and two women wearing hawaiian leis making dramatic hand gestures and facial expressions surround another man wearing a lei looking confused.
Please note that the audio description for this performance is not delivered by VocalEyes. Every effort has been made to ensure that these details are correct; however, please do double-check with the venue for the availability of introductory notes and touch tours when booking.