Works: L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato
June 01, 2010
L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato
By: Stephanie Jordan for Dancing Times
Twenty-two years old, and Mark Morris' L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato casts as powerful a spell as ever. It was always an exceptional work, and first because of its circumstances: a brilliant young American modern dance choreographer given resources to die for at Brussels' Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie - a huge stage, orchestra, choir, abundance of sets, and troupe of 27 dancers. He also had the opportunity to indulge his fascination with an already multi-vocal, pan-historical artwork, am 18th-century Handel score that stemmed from a 17th century Milton poem, which also inspired the 19th-century drawings by William Blake. But few, if any, other works of modern dance have ever sustained themselves thus around the world - L'Allegro has been to Australia, France, Hong Kong, Israel, New Zealand, as well as all over the US, and in the UK, first to the Edinburgh Festival and now this, its third time, to London's Coliseum. And what other choreographic work of any kind demonstrates such range, persuading us that we've encountered in just two hours the whole world of human feeling and experience, with the sunniest wrapping-up that you're ever likely to see?