Press Room

Tuesday October 14, 2014

Turgid Talk-Backs and Wonderful "Words"

Robert Greskovic for The Wall Street Journal

Last week, a high point of the city’s busy schedule of October dance events was the Mark Morris Dance Group in a world premiere commissioned by Fall for Dance at City Center. Mr. Morris’s “Words,” set to 10 of Felix Mendelssohn’s “Songs Without Words,” capped a quadruple bill shared by three other groups. The 25-minute suite of dances—the only one on its bill presented with live music—dominated the program richly and decisively.

Thursday October 09, 2014

The Uncanny Charms of Naive Simplicity

Alastair Macaulay for The New York Times

Mark Morris' Words, a Premiere at Fall for Dance

Monday October 06, 2014

Excursions 2014 - Mark Morris Dance Group to Split Up for a Global Tour

Roslyn Sulcas for The New York Times

The Mark Morris Dance Group is simultaneously going west and east from mid-October through November, as for the first time in the company’s 34-year history, it splits into two groups. Half the troupe’s dancers will tour the United States, Scotland, Italy and Switzerland, while the remainder head for Cambodia, East Timor and Taiwan. On Nov. 11, the company will reunite in Shenzhen, China.

Monday August 11, 2014

NYC Premiere of MMDG Acis and Galatea

Steven Raskauskas for Broadway World

The crown jewel of this year's Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center is Mark Morris Dance Group's new staging of ACIS AND GALATEA. The much-anticipated production, which had runs in Berkeley and Boston earlier this spring, made its New York premiere on Thursday evening.

Monday August 11, 2014

A Day In the Country

Joan Acocella for The New Yorker

I think that one thing Mark Morris’s fans especially like about him, although they might not put it in these terms, is his scholarship. Oh yes, they’ve all heard about his musical erudition and seen the photos of him studying the score as he choreographs. But a matter less often spoken of is that Morris understands, and pumps new life into, old and presumably outdated artistic conventions.

Friday August 08, 2014

An Old Love Story, Tinkered for the Times

Alastair Macaulay for The New York Times

In his two-act staging of “Acis and Galatea” at the David H. Koch Theater, Mark Morris plunges his audience into the heart of the pastoral genre. He sets the love story of the shepherd Acis and the sea nymph Galatea within a landscape chorally filled with lovers.

Saturday July 26, 2014

Jacob's Pillow: Mark Morris Dance Group Musician in the Form of a Dancer

Leslie Kandell for The Birkshire Eagle

BECKET -- The recent dances Mark Morris has brought to Jacob’s Pillow reveal that he has outgrown his early reputation as the "bad boy of modern dance," and become a very good boy indeed.

Friday July 25, 2014

A Magical Night with Mark Morris Dance Group at Jacob's Pillow

Janine Parker for The Boston Globe

BECKET — Call it a midsummer night’s dream: There was something magical about the opening night of Mark Morris Dance Group at Jacob’s Pillow, beginning with the wild storm that sent us all soaked into the theater. Peevish gods hovered, but puckish spirits triumphed. The Morris dancers are, as always, vibrant of expression, both physical and facial, and the four Morris dances are masterfully designed and giddily musical; three are accompanied live, as usual with this company, by skilled musicians.

Monday July 21, 2014

San Francisco Ballet - an American Company in Paris

Judith Mackrell for The Guardian

SFB's Paris season has works by Mark Morris, Christopher Wheeldon and Jerome Robbins: Morris's Maelstrom is still shockingly original – using the simplest of means

Friday July 18, 2014

San Francisco Ballet perform Morris, Wheeldon, Robbins, Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, review: 'exhilarating'

Sarah Crompton for The Telegraph

The San Francisco Ballet, performing as part of Les Etés de la Danse summer season, looked light, sharp, and totally at home in these pieces, says Sarah Crompton

Friday June 27, 2014

Q&A: Maile Okamura talks about dancing for Mark Morris

Maile Okamura of the Mark Morris Dance Group talks about the choreographer's newest opera production and more

Friday June 27, 2014

Making Dance History

Jennie Lay for Steamboat Magazine

Holding up a century-long tradition, this summer Perry-Mansfield dancers will learn the techniques and choreography of the most influential and prolific modern dancers of our time. Their lessons are being passed along via the dancers who had it ingrained in their bodies first-hand from the likes of Bella Lewitzky, José Limón and Mark Morris.

Tuesday June 17, 2014

Lightness and despair fill the National Theater

Diane Baker for Taipei Times

Buoyancy and light were the order of the day at the National Theater in Taipei last weekend, while the Experimental Theater was filled with loneliness and despair — and cherry red jumpsuits.

Friday June 13, 2014

Mark Morris and other singular attractions

Diane Baker for Taipei Times

This is the kind of weekend that gives dance lovers nightmares about empty wallets. Too much choice, too little time. However, with careful budgeting of schedules and money, it is possible to see all three terrific groups that are performing in Taipei today and tomorrow.

Friday May 16, 2014

Mark Morris Brings Elemental New Life to 'Acis and Galatea'

Patrick Valentino for Boston Classical Review

Morris is no doubt one of the most celebrated and sought after choreographers of the day. His past experience in melding dance with opera (Acis marks the 12th such venture) highlights Morris’s keen, almost uncanny ability to weave the dancing into the musical score with natural balancing that makes the gestures and motions seems as elemental to the musical moment as the pitches and harmonies. 

Thursday May 15, 2014

Long-Form Narratives, Without Words

Alastair Macaulay for The New York Times

"We may be witnessing one sea change or several in full-length dance-theater productions. In the last 12 months, three of the world’s leading choreographers — Mark Morris, Alexei Ratmansky, Christopher Wheeldon — have staged new, important, mold-breaking, all-evening works."

Sunday May 11, 2014

Mark Morris Dance Group Gives Clever, Comical Performance

Manuel Mendoza for Dallas Morning News

Known for his musicality, Morris eschews flash. Instead, the New York choreographer creates pretty pictures and patterns with his gestural interpretations, his so-called pedestrian style relying on a vocabulary of everyday movement. Morris’ genius lies in his clever organization of that vernacular movement, often to comic effect.

Saturday May 10, 2014

Mark Morris gets Pastoral with Opera 'Acis and Galatea'

Karen Campbell for The Boston Globe

Very few choreographers have the temerity, not to mention the talent, to choreograph and direct an opera. Then there’s Mark Morris, who has tackled 12 operas over his long, productive career.

Tuesday May 06, 2014

Mark Morris Dance Group Returns to Dallas after Four-Year Hiatus

Danielle Giorgiou for Dallas Observer

Nearly four years have passed since the Mark Morris Dance Group last came to Dallas, and upon their much-anticipated return, I wonder what this nearly 40-year old institution has up its sleeve?
If you ask Morris, like I did recently, you'll get this response: "I hope you like it."

Monday April 28, 2014

Handel to Mozart to Morris in a Pastoral Tale of Love and Jealous Rage

Alastair Macaulay for The New York Times

BERKELEY, Calif. — Mark Morris has often proved the most life-enhancingly musical choreographer alive. In his latest work, the two-act “Acis and Galatea,” you can’t miss multiple layers of his musicality, but sometimes they tug in opposite directions.  Its premiere here was on Friday; it will be seen in Boston in May and at New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival in August.

Saturday December 28, 2013

ESSAY: Mark Morris' Dido and Aeneas by Dr. Sophia Preston

An essay by Sophia Preston

Just a few minutes into Mark Morris’s 1989 dance to Henry Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas it is clear that at least some of the movement “represents” the words of the libretto. Whether by looking apt (shaking hands in the air to “shake”), or through repetition (hands held out in an Indian dance mudra every time the word “fate” is heard), associations build up between gestures and words, creating a lexicon of gestural signs. This “re-presentation” of the libretto through gestures might be viewed as a redundant doubling of the words, but my contention is that, on the contrary, Morris exploits the transparency of this strategy to sophisticated and moving effect.

Friday January 27, 2012

Two Reasons the Patient is Still Kicking

Alastair Macaulay for The New York Times

Every so often someone declares ballet dead. The theater critic Kenneth Tynan even did so in the 1960s, a decade that many of us assume must have been a golden age. (The choreographer Frederick Ashton said, “It’s having the biggest funeral in history.”) In 2010 it was the turn of Jennifer Homans, the dance critic of The New Republic, in the epilogue of her ballet history, “Apollo’s Angels.” In 1993 — I’d better come clean — it was me.

Friday May 14, 2010

A Mark Morris dance you must not miss

Dance is a young person’s game. Sure, the greatest tangueros and tangueras are middle-aged or older; sure, Baryshnikov at 62 is as mesmerizing to watch as ever. But the fact is that just plain juice — hormones, pheromones, that teen spirit — is the fuel dance runs on.
Sometimes it’s the fuel that creates the dance. Jerome Robbins’ strange melancholy masterwork "New York Export: Opus Jazz" (seen all over America in a new staging in late March on PBS’s Great Performances), was the work of a man recalling youth, idealizing youth, desperately evoking youth as it faded from him. But sometimes youth itself makes the dance, pours it out in full thoughtless flood. Such a work is "Gloria," created in 1981 on a part-time company of friends by a 25-year-old independent choreographer named Mark Morris.

Friday November 24, 1995

ESSAY: Roger Downey on Dido and Aeneas

All it took to condemn one of the greatest operas ever written to three centuries in shadows were a bare dozen words—“Perform'd at Mr. Josias Priest's Boarding-School at Chelsey. By Young Gentlewomen.”

And the worst of it? It wasn’t even true.

In fact Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas was probably written for performance before the King and Queen of England. But those words, at the head of the libretto published in 1689, have cast such a pall of dainty respectability, of amateur night shenanigans over the work that most listeners have neglected the evidence of their own ears. Dido has been mostly revived professionally when a mezzo-soprano combining musical insight with box-office clout—a Kirsten Flagstad, a Josephine Baker—has insisted on performing it. Paradoxically, Mark Morris's danced version of the piece has probably done more to establish Dido in the repertory than those artists did. 

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