'Music of Leonard Cohen' pays homage to legendary performer

The Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts is opening its season with a dance that pays homage to the legendary poet/singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen.

The performing arts center is teaming up with NextMove Dance to present nine dance companies this season, starting with a Philadelphia premiere.

"We're opening in September with Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal," says Christopher Gruits, Executive & Artistic Director of the Annenberg Center, "a really exceptional program called 'Dance Me'."

The program is based on Cohen's most beloved songs.

"He was one of the most influential singer-songwriters of the 20th century and this is a really interesting interpretation of his music through dance," Gruits says.

The performance will include a range of scenic and lighting effects on stage.

"This show really has the beauty and poignancy of a spectacular modern dance performance," Gruits says, "but also really the energy and spectacle of a rock concert."

The dance company, like Cohen, hails from Montreal.

"They do modern ballet but influenced through a wide variety of music," Gruits explains.

The company worked with three choreographers for the performance.

"They're really bringing together a range of perspectives in dance," Gruits says, "."

Sixteen songs will be featured.

"Some of his most iconic include Hallelujah, So Long Marianne and Suzanne," Gruits says, "so it's a really great range of his songwriting. He is talking really, ultimately, about the human condition. About love, about loss."

It was that personal writing that Gruits believes enabled people from all over the world to relate to Cohen.

"We're hoping that people experience beauty, that they're moved by this dance and by this music."

Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal Dance Me / Music of Leonard Cohen | Website | FB

Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Zellerbach Theatre
September 26-28, 2019
3680 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Copyright © 2019 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.