Highlights: 30th Anniversary
August 23, 2011
Mark Morris and His Joy of Text
By: Robert Greskovic for the Wall Street Journal
Both Mark Morris and those writing about his works have stressed the importance of the music to which he creates his dances, a choreographic catalog that has been growing since 1971. Prior to the Mark Morris Dance Group's recent appearance at the Mostly Mozart Festival, the musical basis of the program was duly trumpeted. No Mozart here, but works by Igor Stravinsky—the festival's secondary focus this year—as well as Johann Nepomuk Hummel and Erik Satie were on the troupe's bill.
The newest creation by Mr. Morris, who recently referred to himself on a local radio station as "a musician, in the form of a choreographer," was "Renard," danced to Stravinsky's 1916 sung-and-played "burlesque." The colorful creation, first shown in this staging in June at the Tanglewood Music Center, is sung in the original Russian and exemplifies Mr. Morris's inspired use not only of music, but of text in his dancemaking.