Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center, a TMC Arts program, will begin its 19th season with the West Coast premiere Hamburg Ballet John Neumeier’s full-length ballet Bernstein Dances performed with a live orchestra March 11, 13 and 19, 2022. Bernstein Dances, which premiered in 1998 in Hamburg, Germany, is an original work by the company’s Director and Chief Choreographer John Neumeier paying homage to his friend and one of America’s most cherished composers Leonard Bernstein. Built like a revue, Bernstein Dances is “a collage of separate episodes resulting in a dance mosaic, all unified by Bernstein’s music.”

Hamburg Ballet will also perform in LA Opera’s production of St. Matthew Passion, with choreography by John Neumeier March 12, 17, 20, 23, and 26, 2022 at 7:30 pm & Sunday, March 27, 2022 at 2:00 pm. Both productions will take place at The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

The music for Bernstein Dances ranges from several short piano pieces to the symphonic dances of Bernstein’s widely popular West Side Story. It features six solo dancers threaded together by one central figure who “appears periodically, directing, motivating and inspiring the action.” The costumes were designed by Giorgio Armani to provide the ballet with an overall unified look. The critic in the American daily newspaper Newsday wrote that Bernstein Dances “is as glamorous an evening of dance as you can imagine.”

The Hamburg Ballet John Neumeier - "Bernstein Dances" - Photo © Kiran West

Karen Azatyan, Christopher Evans, Ensemble – The Hamburg Ballet John Neumeier – “Bernstein Dances” – Photo © Kiran West

Artistic Director and Chief Choreographer John Neumeier has directed the company since 1973, leading the company to being recognized worldwide as a leading dance company that combines classical ballet with the more contemporary dance forms of his own choreography. Bernstein Dances has a run time of two hours and 30 minutes, and features music from some of Leonard Bernstein’s most indelible works including Candide, MASS, On the Town, Peter Pan, West Side Story and Wonderful Town as well as the complete Serenade (after Plato’s “Symposium”).

“Bernstein Dances showcases the incredible talent of Bernstein and Neumeier, two American treasures, resulting in a phenomenal experience that celebrates music and dance,” explained Rachel S. Moore, president, and CEO of The Music Center. “Audiences returning to The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion can expect an exhilarating, uplifting performance that honors two remarkable artists and which reminds us of the joy we have all been missing. At the same time, they can feel comfortable knowing we have put comprehensive preventative measures in place to help ensure they have the safest possible experience.”

Hamburg Ballet - Marc Jubete with Ensemble - St. Matthew Passion, choreography by John Neumeier- Photo © Kiran West

Hamburg Ballet – Marc Jubete with Ensemble – “St. Matthew Passion”, choreography by John Neumeier – Photo © Kiran West

St. Matthew Passion was written by Johann Sebastian Bach in 1727 for solo voices, double choir, and double orchestra, with libretto by Picander, Christian Friedrich Henrici, setting the 26th and 27th chapters of the Gospel of Matthew to music. It is considered by many to be the single greatest masterpieces of Baroque sacred music depicting the last days of Jesus. Neumeier’s ballet by the same title had its world premiere on November 13, 1980.

“Marrying the powerful music and narrative with dance in complete harmony, Neumeier fills the stage with unforgettable movement and images. The extraordinary dancers of the Hamburg Ballet join forces with James Conlon (LA Opera’s Richard Seaver Music Director since 2006), a team of brilliant vocal soloists, and LA Opera’s formidable orchestra and chorus for a spellbinding, deeply meaningful performance you’ll never forget.” – LA Opera website.

Dance students will enjoy a master class on March 12, 2022, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for advanced high school students. For more information, visit

Bernstein Dances performances at The Music Center start at $34 and are available online at; at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Box Office, 135 N. Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012; or by calling (213) 972-0711. For groups of 10 or more, call (213) 972-8555 or email

To purchase tickets for the LA Opera production of St. Matthew Passion with the Hamburg Ballet John Neumeier, please click HERE.

*Programs and artists subject to change.


For more information on the Hamburg Ballet John Neumeier, please visit their WEBSITE.

For more information on the Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at the Music Center, please visit their WEBSITE. Please visit this page for The Music Center’s COVID-19 safety information.

For more information on the LA Opera, please visit their WEBSITE. Please click HERE for LA Opera’s COVID-19 safety information.


To watch the trailer of Bernstein Dances, click HERE.

To watch the trailer of St. Matthew Passion, click HERE.

Written by Jeff Slayton for LA Dance Chronicle.

Featured image: Hamburg Ballet John Neumeier – Bernstein Dances – Photo ©Kiran West