Highlights: 30th Anniversary
February 26, 2011
Morris' dance in top form at Harris Theater
By: Sid Smith for Chicago Tribune
The three works being performed by the Mark Morris Dance Group over the weekend at the Harris Theater share a kind of pristine purity, not simple, by any means, but each one distinctly vibrant with a very classic beauty.
Morris' renowned musical affinities are in top form and refinement as a result. That these works are new, dating from just last year, adds a layer of fascination--not just a snapshot but a carefully detailed portrait of an artist at 54, one already a widely acknowledged genius of the form.
"Socrates" in particular has been hailed as a major work, and, indeed, it oh-so-thoughtfully takes your breath away. Michael Chybowski's sunset lighting and spare, sly decor allowing for a haunting use of silhouettes, along with Martin Pakledinaz's soft-colored tunics, evoke classical times with autumnal piquancy. At the risk of being precious, I call "Socrates" Morris' ode to a Grecian urn--in the second movement especially (the work is set to Erik Satie's "Socrate"), the various crowds of dancers move from right to left as if figures on a vase.