The Kennedy Center


Company | E: I Never Dreamed It Could Be Like This: Inspirations | Leonard Bernstein at 100

Friday, January 19, 2018 - Saturday, January 20, 2018

Leonard Bernstein at 100 Contemporary Dance

In a world premiere Kennedy Center collaboration, the D.C.-based dance company and choreographer Robert J. Priore bring to life the creative force of iconic American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein.

Search for Current Events


I Never Dreamed It Could Be Like This
Inspirations | Leonard Bernstein @ 100

Leonard Bernstein was a unique figure in American history—and his influence continues to be a monumental force around the globe. In this world premiere Kennedy Center collaboration, D.C.-based contemporary repertory dance group Company | E celebrates 100 years of Bernstein by exploring three facets of the iconic master: as a composer, as a conductor, and as a man. Drawing on Bernstein’s own music, on the artistry he guided under his baton, and on the contributions he made to society as a whole, this fascinating hour-long dance work brings together choreography by Robert J. Priore with recorded music and spoken word to create a powerful showcase for how Bernstein’s legacy has inspired our current generation in many different ways.

Performance Timing: One hour, with no intermission.

Bernstein’s unrelenting perseverance has been a key inspiration in creating this piece:

When he was urged to change his name from Bernstein to Burns, because “no one named Bernstein will ever conduct a major orchestra,” he refused. “I’ll make it as Leonard Bernstein or I won’t make it at all.”

When his father disavowed his desire to be an artist, he went forward and against those wishes, until that passion and talent turned his father around. “When I opposed his choices I never imagined he’d become Leonard Bernstein.”

Art must always challenge “what is impossible.” It must, as Teddy Kennedy once said, “Sail against the wind…”

This performance is part of the Kennedy Center’s celebration of Leonard Bernstein at 100, a year of local, national, and worldwide events that pay tribute to this iconic artist whose influence and impact on arts and culture in the U.S. and around the world have transcended both genres and generations.

Watch and Listen

Company | E: I Never Dreamed It Could Be Like This: Inspirations at the Kennedy Center