Battle Hymns

Leah Stein Dance Company



Leah Stein directs Battle Hymns singers and dancers at Kezar Pavilion in April 2013, set to a libretto based on Civil War texts. Photo by Sidney Chen.

Leah Stein choreographed a large-scale, site-specific dance to an original score by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang, performed by 70 singers from the Mendelssohn Club chorus, and shown at Philadelphia's 23rd Street Armory. Stein worked closely with Lang during the development of the score, the libretto of which was based on Civil War texts: Stephen Foster songs, a quote from Abraham Lincoln, and a battlefield letter home, written by Sullivan Ballou. This was the Leah Stein Dance Company's third collaboration with the Mendelssohn Club, directed by Alan Harler, all of which incorporated a full chorus into the choreography. In 2012, the full production of Battle Hymns toured to San Francisco for a performance with 20 professional singers of Volti, more than 100 members from the San Francisco Choral Society, and 50 young singers from the Piedmont East Bay Children's Choir.