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Reimagined classics by legendary Sting at heart of "Message in a Bottle" show at New York City Center

Sting music reimagined for "Message in a Bottle" show
Sting music reimagined for "Message in a Bottle" show 02:13

NEW YORK -- The legendary Sting has launched a new project at New York City Center, described as an extraordinary dance show featuring his songs.

CBS New York recently sat down with the legendary front man of The Police to talk about the project.

"It's an important story, an emotional story, very entertaining story," Sting said.

More than 25 iconic songs from this master of music got reworked and refreshed to provide a kind of rocket fuel for the dancers. The production "Message in a Bottle" is deeply emotional, with depictions of war and displacement.

Sting said the minute he saw what director-choreographer Kate Prince had in mind he was hooked.

"Just an empty room with dancers and music. No lights, no staging and sat there and crying, literally weeping, and I don't cry very often. So there's something going on here. The story they were telling engaged me right here," said Sting, born Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner back in 1951. "It's a story about a family that separated by a geopolitical situation, a war famine. So it's it's probably the meta story of our time."

"We're talking about the story of people who are resilient and who endure pain and performed by dancers who are resilient and endure pain to dance is to know pain," Prince added.

This is the latest project for a man who as a solo artist and with The Police sold more than 100 million records, and forged a legendary path as a musician, actor and activist.

Classics like "Every Breath You Take," "Roxanne," "Walking on the Moon," "Message in a Bottle," and many more are in the show with bold new arrangements.

"If used together, these meetings that you might not think go together resume nation-specialized and hip-hop dances and the fact hip-hop music and staying in concert, dance and a rock concert of fused together to create something new and unique," said Alex Lacamoire, music supervisor for "Message in a Bottle."

When asked if he went back in the studio to do the work or were they able to work with existing vocals, Sting said, "I joined Alex in the studio a couple of times to re-sing a couple of things. You know some of the songs are written decades apart, so it really has a unified cohesive sound. The original meaning of the songs has not been compromised. If anything, it has been enhanced."

CBS New York asked Sting what it's like to be him right now -- beloved and collaborating all the time.

"I'm a very fortunate man. I'm a very fortunate artist, surrounded by collaborators who are energetically and vital and smart," Sting said. "I feel that mentally I'm 14 1/2. I still have the same energy."

He called it an honor to be part of the "Message in a Bottle" project, and added he's happy any time a tour or production returns him to New York City.

"I'm famously the Englishman in New York and I live just around the corner," Sting said.

"Message in a Bottle" opens April 30 and runs through May 12 at New York City Center.

Sting said he'd like to see a Broadway transfer for the show. 

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