Leah Stein Dance Company Performs Battle Hymns in San Francisco

Excerpts from the premiere of Battle Hymns at Philadelphia’s 23rd Street Armory, featuring composer David Lang’s music, nine Leah Stein Dance Company dancers, 80 Mendelssohn Club singers, and choreography by Leah Stein.


Leah Stein’s 2009 Center-funded project Battle Hymns, set to an original score by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang and originally sung by 80 singers from the Mendelssohn Club Chorus, was remounted in San Francisco from April 26–28, 2013.

Originally performed at the 23rd Street Armory in Philadelphia, Stein re-imagined this large-scale work with 20 professional singers of the Volti Chorus. They were joined by more than 100 singers from the San Francisco Choral Society and 50 youth singers from the Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir. Volti director Robert Geary worked to bring the production to the West Coast after seeing the original in Philadelphia.

Watch the clip above of the premiere performance in Philadelphia in 2009, with the Mendelssohn Club Chorus and Leah Stein Dance Company.

International choreographers and dancers Sidi Larbi and Shantala Shivalingappa presented performances at FringeArts’ 2011 festival, including the American debut of their duet Play.

In conjunction with the Center-funded project Words Adorned, Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture will present a free music demonstration with renowned Palestinian vocalist Dalal Abu Amneh and Al-Bustan’s Takht Ensemble.

Grants & Grantees

Since its founding in 1864, Swarthmore College has given students the knowledge, insight, skills, and experience to become leaders for the common good. The Performing Arts at Swarthmore College serve as educational and artistic laboratories, combining a rigorous liberal arts education with practical explorations of performance.

Grants & Grantees

Founded in 2005 by Christine Cox and Matthew Neenan, BalletX unites distinguished choreographers with a company of world-class dancers to “forge new works of athleticism, emotion, and grace.”

Collaborators & Colleagues

Stephen Petronio has honed a unique language of movement that speaks to the intuitive and complex possibilities of the body.

Grants & Grantees

Choreographer Lisa Kraus collaborated with longtime colleagues to create a piece that examined how longstanding relationships affect dancing and dancemaking.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Justina Barrett is the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Site Manager for its History Houses, and Museum Educator for American Art.

The Object Lesson works in the margins between theater and visual art installation, between audience and actor. Since its premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The Object Lesson has received extensive praise, and was named a “Fringe First.”

Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl, which traveled to London in early 2011, received media attention from a number of publications.

Grants & Grantees

The first multi-concert retrospective of Julius Eastman, an African American composer who was active internationally in the 1970s and 80s, but who died at age 49, will include rarely-performed works that showcase the composer’s broad compositional practice.

Questions of Practice

An Experiment in Five Acts was aimed at artists and cultural producers working in the Philadelphia region who are negotiating mid-career challenges—be they purely aesthetic or more practical.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Claudia La Rocco’s work frequently revolves around interdisciplinary collaborations and performances. A faculty member of the School of Visual Arts’ graduate program in Art Criticism and Writing, La Rocco also teaches at Stanford University.