© 2021 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Classical 101

The Bernstein Boogie...or How Not to Conduct Yourself in Public

[video is dead] Leonard Bernstein loved to dance. Whether or not he COULD dance, I don't know, but dance he did, night after night in front of orchestras the world over.  His conducting style became known by many as the "Lenny dance."  One never knew where he might wind up with a big finish. [youtube 422-yb8TXj8&feature=fvw] One of his mentors, Fritz Reiner, was Bernstein's polar opposite.  He used an economy of motion and eye contact that could communicate volumes to the musicians. [youtube 2MhzvayEVp0&feature=channel] His eyes could also burn a hole in you if you missed an entrance.  (I trust he wouldn't go as far as this guy.) [youtube _AuEj0RAKNc] That was an April Fools joke played on his students, but I'm certain there are times conductors would have loved to do that very thing! Leopold Stokowski loved his hands, to the point of making sure they (and he) were properly lit when he did Disney's Fantasia. [youtube L5kUViNYZHM] It's too hot and humid to dance, but you can "boogie down" with Bernstein without breaking a sweat! -- Boyce Lancaster