Press Room

Thursday January 22, 2015

Inventive Mark Morris dance troupe dazzles in Boston performance

by Iris Fanger for The Patriot Ledger 

The program of four Boston premieres is a reminder that Morris has lost none of his fervor for live music mixed with dance or his eclectic taste in finding composers to spur his creative choreography. Presented by a company of 17 elegant highly gifted performers, some of them new to local audiences, the evening passes in a luscious mix of joy in dancing and off-beat surprises - a gift to brighten our cold winter.

Thursday January 22, 2015

Mark Morris Dazzles with Dualities at the ICA

by Thea Singer for The Artery

Mark Morris has the uncanny ability to show us the darkness in light, the still point in a maelstrom (of traffic, of relationships), or, as Joan Acocella put it in her 1993 biography of him, "one noble, one ignoble, version of the same truth." He did so again last night, in a concert of four Boston premieres by the Mark Morris Dance Group and Music Ensemble presented in the intimate Barbara Lee Family Foundation Theater at the Institute of Contemporary Art.

Friday January 09, 2015

Annunciati i vincitori del Premio Danza&Danza 2014

MMDG's performances in Italy, part of Excursions 2014, named 2014 Best Contemporary Dance Show by Danza & Danza.

Monday January 05, 2015

Come, thou Fount: Choreographer and Star Team Create Dazzling New Vision of Handel

If you’re not sure whether Mark Morris’ Acis and Galatea is opera or dance or theater or what, then you’re probably on the right track. “That’s historically accurate,” said Mark recently on the phone, pointing out that in the Baroque “opera included all of those things: That’s the whole point.” The choreographer’s extravagant new production of Acis, Handel’s masterpiece drawn from Ovid’s Metamorphoses and performed here February 6th and 7th on the Harriman-Jewell Series, constitutes one of the most auspicious assemblages of talent that Kansas City has ever seen on a stage.

Thursday January 01, 2015

DCMetro Theater Arts Best of 2014: Dance by Carolyn Kelemen and Rick Westerkamp

Mark Morris will go to any length to prove his point of view, often with a hint of gender-bender choreography. At two performances this past year – one at his company’s Brooklyn Academy of Music, the other at second home George Mason University this past winter season – his acclaimed ensemble has been equally popular with dance aficionados, mainstream audiences, and critics alike. 

Sunday December 28, 2014

Wittiness, Pluck, and Rage: Pam Tanowitz and Trey McIntyre Project Among 2014’s Best

The lingering flavor of dance in 2014 is bittersweet. It wasn’t much of a year for budding voices or surprising developments. What stays brightest in my memory are mainly instances of established artists delivering more of what they were already known for, several of them for the last time.

Wednesday December 24, 2014

2014 in review: Bay Area dance world's strides, setbacks

High point: The resurgence of the duet as the most expressive and urgent of movement forms. Mark Morris’ “Jenn and Spencer” topped the list, but one also enjoyed memorable duets by Liam Scarlett (the second movement of “Hummingbird”), Crystal Pite, Nora Chipaumire, Alonzo King (virtually all of “Shostakovich”) and Kate Weare.

Thursday December 11, 2014

The Top Male Dance Performances of 2014

Many performances in 2014 took me where I had not gone before. Here I recall just 10 male dancers and the dates, in chronological order, when the scale of their achievement dawned on me. April 24 and 25, Berkeley, Calif.: Aaron Loux.

Monday November 17, 2014

Mark Morris Dance Group Tours China


An audience member once said, "with modern dance, you can never guess where the dancers are moving from one second to the next. Whether it's on stage or in the community, there're clearly no bounds for the Mark Morris Dance Group."

Saturday November 15, 2014

Mark Morris brings Mozart Dances to Perth

Deborah Jones for The Australian

Everything about Mark Morris is big: his exuberant laugh, his passion for music, the uncensored chat and bawdy talk, his endlessly inquiring nature. He’s a stayer, too. The American choreographer started making dances when he was 13 (although he says he didn’t make his first good one until he was 15) and founded his own company at 24. He’s now 58 and Mark Morris Dance Group has not only survived, but is one of the world’s finest contemporary companies.

Thursday November 13, 2014

Tanglewood 2015: From Yo-Yo Ma with Emanuel Ax to Tony Bennett with Lady Gaga

Ray Kelly for Mass Live

Special events to take place at Ozawa Hall include the return of the Mark Morris Dance Group with a newly commissioned dance piece to Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 on June 25-26 and Broadway great Audra McDonald in an evening of favorite show tunes, popular standards, and original pieces on July 19.

Thursday November 13, 2014

Fall for Dance 2014: A good year!

Charmaine Patricia Warren for Amsterdam News

One of the two closing companies is the Mark Morris Dance Group and Music Ensemble, and here, one is reminded of Morris’ skilled attention to music in the world premiere of “Words.” This Fall for Dance commission is fun, funny and mature. Do away with the unbecoming costumes but keep the continually changing movement and fastidious dancers.

Sunday November 02, 2014

Mark Morris dancers 'move' Taipei as part of US gov't program

CNA for The China Post

Dozens of Taiwanese people took part in an event Saturday in Taipei to dance with the New-York based Mark Morris Dance Group, as part of the U.S. Department of State's DanceMotion program to promote bilateral cultural exchanges.

Saturday November 01, 2014

Renowned U.S. dance company 'moves' Taipei

Elaine Hou for Focus Taiwan 

"Today's activity is 'Everybody must dance,'" Mark Morris, founder of the U.S. modern dance company, told the local media on the sidelines of the activity titled "Let's Move Taipei." Accompanied by warm sunshine, dancers from the company guided local people of all ages to exercise, move their bodies and dance to music at the plaza of the National Theater. During the one-hour event, the dancers taught the participants to do a lot of swinging, hopping and other dance movements.

Saturday November 01, 2014

Dance review: Mark Morris Dance Group

Jane Robinson for The Scotsman 

Does Mark Morris create the visual embodiment of our secret wish to move whenever we hear music, the extension of the discrete toe-tap? Is he using our eyes to give us new ears for music? Whatever the trick, it’s close to magic.

Thursday October 30, 2014

Review: Dance

Mary Brennan for Herald Scotland 

Time was, the Mark Morris Dance Group was a familiar sight in Scotland: a highlight in several Edinburgh International Festivals, a hot ticket during subsequent UK tours. It's not clear why that fell away. The company's last Scottish showing was in Edinburgh (2009) - this one-night-only in Aberdeen proved a bitter-sweet reminder of how much Morris and his group are missed.

Saturday October 25, 2014

Q&A: "When I create work, I look into the past"

Harriet Fitch Little for The Phnom Penh Post

In conversation with two choreographers: Sophiline Shapiro and Mark Morris
Mark Morris and Sophiline Shapiro are two of the most widely respected dance choreographers within their respective fields. The Mark Morris Dance Group is known in the US for its exuberant, inventive style, while Shapiro’s Khmer Arts has been a pioneering force in the re-invigoration of traditional Cambodian dance. On the last day of Morris’s two-week trip to the Kingdom, the choreographers joined forces to lead an afternoon of workshops at the Khmer Arts Theatre in Takhmao. Afterwards, they sat down together to talk.

Friday October 24, 2014

Sharing Culture through Dance

From The Ambassador's Penh - the official blog of William E. Todd, U.S. Ambassdor to Cambodia

Cambodia is known around the world for its enduring and rich dance traditions. As such, it should come as no surprise that Cambodia attracted the attention of Mark Morris, one of America’s finest and most accomplished choreographers. I am delighted that Mark and his dance company, the Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG), traveled from New York City to Cambodia for a ten-day tour to collaborate with Cambodian dancers and musicians and to perform for Cambodian audiences. This trip was made possible through a special program called DanceMotion USASM, which is a joint initiative of the U.S. State Department and the Brooklyn Academy of Music and carried out with the support of the Embassy and our partner, Amrita Performing Arts.

Sunday October 19, 2014

Impressions of Fall for Dance at New York City Center- Program 1

Henning Rübsam for The Dance Enthusiast

Morris has been in the public eye since 1980, and many American critics, funders, and presenters have given him carte blanche since his auspicious outset by anointing him Master Choreographer. This has allowed Morris to continuously work on a scale that hardly any other living choreographer in the contemporary dance field has (and will) experience.

Saturday October 18, 2014

Dancers in town to trade moves

Chelsea Chapman for The Phnom Penh Post

These mesmerizing, animalistic dances were the result of a two-day workshop between the Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG) and Amrita Performing Arts on October 15 and 16. Visiting Cambodia on a cultural exchange program run by USA Motion and Brooklyn Academy of Music, MMDG will collaborate with the Royal University of Fine Arts (RUFA), Amrita Performing Arts, Tiny Toones and Epic Arts, among others, during their 10 day tour.

Tuesday January 20, 2015

L'Allegro, Il Penseroso ed il Moderato on THIRTEEN's Great Performances

Mark Morris's signature work comes to television for the first time, hosted by Mikhail Baryshnikov.

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

Roger Downey for Crosscut Seattle
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.
"Gloria" is only one of three Morris works coming to Seattle’s Paramount Theater May 21-23; but it is the one which you must see, whether you are a dance fan, a baroque music buff, a theater maven, or simply a person who has sometimes felt moving in the soul the feeling expressed by Dylan Thomas’s immortally longing Polly Garter in Under Milk Wood: “Oh, isn’t life a terrible thing, thank God?”

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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