Press Room

Saturday June 18, 2016

Sounds of India at The Lincoln Centre’s ‘White Light Festival’

The art and culture of South India will be the centerpiece of the prestigious music festival held annually at the renowned Lincoln Centre in New York. The 7th season of Lincoln Centre’s ‘White Light Festival’ will open on October 16. Award-wining choreographer Mark Morris will curate a ten-part series on it. The international multidisciplinary festival will have 41 performances in 10 venues over the course of a month, by artists and companies from nine countries. The festival will open with the US premiere of Human Requiem, an intimate and unique theatrical choral event performed by German classical choir Rundfunkchor Berlin.

Thursday June 16, 2016

Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival Draws Inspiration From India

The choreographer Mark Morris, who has long been drawn to the arts and culture of India, has programmed a 10-part series exploring the music and dance of South India that will form the centerpiece of this fall’s White Light Festival, Lincoln Center announced Thursday. 

Friday June 03, 2016

Mark Morris Up Close

The Mark Morris Dance Group presented two New York premieres as a part of its spring season. Alongside two older pieces, the repertoire showed the range of Morris’s smaller-scale concert performance choreography, encompassing rituals and formalism both ornate and more classical in nature. They danced at the company’s intimate home theater on the top floor of its Brooklyn headquarters with live music by the superb resident ensemble, which has become a proud hallmark of the troupe.

Friday May 27, 2016

Mark Morris Dance Group Review

There is no question that Mark Morris is one of the greatest choreographers America has produced. His musical acumen rivals that of George Balanhcine, and one might even compare his fertile inventiveness to that of Merce Cunningham. The Mark Morris Dance Group performed four of his dances, including a premiere, in the capacious yet intimate fifth floor studio/theater of his eponymous center in Brooklyn, instead of at BAM, his usual springtime venue. Morris geared his repertory choices to the scale of his studio theater and a small musical ensemble of four.

Sunday May 22, 2016

At Home: Cargo, A Forest, Foursome, The

After more than 35 years, Mark Morris still seems to have plenty to say. In a series of four works including a world premiere, shown in the casual James and Martha Duffy Performance Space of his own Mark Morris Dance Center, Morris offered his idiosyncratic and familiar dance worldview through relentlessly musical choreography. 

Thursday May 19, 2016

Mark Morris Dance Group – Cargo, A Forest, Foursome, The – New York

You experience choreography differently in such a setting... You become keenly aware of the dancers’ bodies: how distinct they are, how many shapes and sizes they come in. And what they sound like when they slap their thigh or stomp out rhythms on the floor. The dancers’ faces leave a powerful impression. 

Wednesday May 18, 2016

A Mark Morris Premiere Features Singular Theater Poetry

No choreographer alive has built up a stronger reputation for musicality than Mark Morris. In his finest works, he taps both our most primal and our most sophisticated responses to music. That’s not the only reason he has been recognized since the 1980s as one of the very few great choreographers of our day — there are also his exceptional imagination; his phenomenal wit; the profundity of his view of society; his insistence on live music; and his exceptionally honest, natural dancers — but it’s fundamental.

Sunday May 15, 2016

Mark Morris's Enduring Career

In the field of American dance, rarely friendly to aging bodies, the number of master choreographers working into their seventh decade—and still directing a namesake company—can pretty much be counted on one artfully extended hand. Soon to enter that elite club is Mark Morris, who turns 60 in August and whose company, the Mark Morris Dance Group, performs its spring season May 17 to 22 at his center in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

Known as one of the more prolific makers of dance of his or any generation, Mr. Morris has amassed a long list of accolades...“Very few people have the gifts Mark has,” said Lawrence Rhodes, artistic director of the Juilliard Dance Division. “People hope to emulate his innate knowledge of music, structure and vocabulary.” The company, founded in 1980, hasn’t had a repertory season at its center since April 2013. Each of the four pieces on the program is a smaller dance—selected, Mr. Morris said, because in scale they are particularly well suited for the intimate space.

Wednesday May 11, 2016

Mark Morris Dance Group Offers Intimacy in Brooklyn

Certain dances — especially those packed with details — warrant intimacy. The Mark Morris Dance Group grants that wish with a spring season at its Brooklyn quarters, with new and vintage works by the stellar Mr. Morris and, as always, live music...One thing is sure: The close quarters will make Mr. Morris’s details shine.

Wednesday April 20, 2016

New Cal Performances season puts focus on inclusion, innovation, immersion

At the core of the 111th Cal Performances season are what executive and artistic director Matías Tarnopolsky calls “three strands of artistic exploration”: inclusion, innovation and immersion. 
The inclusion theme kicks off with the season opening world premiere of Mark Morris Dance Group’s “Layla and Majnun,” with music performed by The Silk Road Ensemble with the voices of Azerbaijan’s Alim Qasimov and Fargana Qasimova, with sets and costumes by British artist Howard Hodgkin. 

Tuesday April 19, 2016

New Mark Morris dance piece to open Cal Performances' 2016-17 season

Cal Performances kicks off its 2016-17 season with a star-studded bang in late September with the world premiere of Mark Morris' evening-length dance "Layla and Majnun," performed by his company and featuring The Silk Road Ensemble as well as Azerbaijani mugham vocalists Alim Qasimov and Fargana Qasimova. The work, drawn from the Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi's story of forbidden love, plays Sept. 30 through Oct. 2 at Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall.

Wednesday April 06, 2016

Dido and Aeneas at the revamped Harris Theater

I was ready to be a little disappointed when I arrived at the Harris Theater for the Mark Morris Dance Group's performance of Dido and Aeneas last night. I knew that Morris himself had danced the piece's twin lead roles of Dido and the Sorceress at its premiere in 1989 and numerous times since, but had never seen it. And now that he wasn't taking the role himself anymore, I knew he had cast it with a woman. That sounded like it would be less interesting. I needn't have worried. There's nothing uninteresting about Laurel Lynch, who has both lead parts. 

Wednesday April 06, 2016

After 27 years, Mark Morris' 'Dido and Aeneas' only gains in force

Delight defines Mark Morris' "Dido and Aeneas." Delight in sex, in music, in pathos, in mischief and even evil. Delight despite the ancient tragic story of love betrayed, and despite the historic and political trappings the story has accumulated over the centuries. Running for the second time in Chicago, through Wednesday at the Harris, Morris' hourlong "Dido and Aeneas" carries some major baggage. Choreographed in 1989 for Brussels' Theatre Royal de la Monnaie, it's based in Virgil's "Aeneid," which emphasizes fate, the gods, the destined history of Rome. Henry Purcell's 1689 opera, set to Nahum Tate's libretto, provides not only the music and a political message about England's ascendancy but a different tack on the characters: Dido becomes stronger than Aeneas, and witches, not gods, direct the action.

Monday April 04, 2016

UW World Series announces new name, new season includes MMDG Northwest premiere

“Layla and Majnun,” based on a fifth-century Persian romantic poem, performed by the Mark Morris Dance Group with The Silk Road Ensemble. A Meany Center co-commission and Northwest premiere, it opens the season. (Oct. 6-8)

Friday April 01, 2016

Northrop staging of 'Dido' shows timeless mastery of Mark Morris

It’s not every day that you get to see an opera danced. That’s exactly what happened when the Mark Morris Dance Group and Music Ensemble brought the iconic 1989 work “Dido and Aeneas” to Northrop on Wednesday. The opera, written by Henry Purcell, was simultaneously sung from the orchestra pit and danced on stage, with intriguing if somewhat disconnected results. Because it was difficult for the audience to see the singers (who were quite good), it was a bit like watching a dubbed movie, in which the dialogue doesn’t exactly line up with the performer who is “speaking.” Still, the live music and singing made up a rich, essential part of the epic work.

Thursday March 31, 2016

Come see "Dido and Aeneas" – there's nothing like a live-danced opera

The baroque opera “Dido and Aeneas” comes at 8 p.m. to Elliott Hall this Saturday, brought to life through vocalists, dancers and a live chamber orchestra. The Mark Morris Dance Group will discuss the ins and outs of the aesthetics in a pre-show talk at 7 p.m. in the Mechanical Engineering Building, Room 1103. Below, Laurel Lynch, lead performer playing dual roles, Dido and the Sorceress, answers questions to give you a sense of what you’ll be able to take away from the show and pre-show.

Wednesday March 30, 2016

Tragedy told through dance & opera

If you talk to Mark Morris about his choreography, he often circles back to storytelling. For "Dido and Aeneas," Morris unites live instrumental, choral, vocal solo and dance forces, funneling the energy of each into a whole that unfolds English composer Henry Purcell's famous 1689 opera.
The story — at once real and heart-breaking — is based on Virgil's tale. Dido, the Queen of Carthage, and shipwrecked Trojan prince Aeneas fall in love, only to have their bond destroyed by the cruel Sorceress and Dido's own misgivings. And so Morris uses each movement, bow stroke and vocal nuance to present the piece's full meaning.

Tuesday March 29, 2016

Ancient legend, modern dance

Art rarely mashes up genres as disparate as modern dance, baroque opera and Roman epics. Yet the Mark Morris Dance Group has been pulling off the combo since 1989.  For their modern dance version of Purcell’s opera, “Dido and Aeneas,” at Northrop on Wednesday, the 12 dancers are collaborating with a live orchestra, chorus and solo vocalists.

“It’s one of the great pieces of music in the Western canon and [one of the first operas] in the English language,” said Morris. In addition to leading his eponymous group, he’s the piece’s choreographer and the orchestra’s conductor. 

Monday March 28, 2016

Doomed love affair makes 'irresistible' dance piece

Choreographer Mark Morris no longer dances in his company's show, "Dido and Aeneas," even though he wrote the piece for himself. But almost 30 years after the first performance, he'll still be quite visible when he brings "Dido" to the Northrop Auditorium in Minneapolis on Wednesday.
The decision to do "Dido and Aeneas" came easily, Morris explained, particularly when he heard Henry Purcell's opera, composed in English in the 1680s.
"It's a great ... masterpiece," he said. "And it's a perfect length, and it's a great scale, and it's an irresistible story."

Friday March 18, 2016

Mark Morris’ L’Allegro and Jerome Robbins’ Dances at a Gathering Rocket in to the Bay Area

Rather like El Niño’s oscillation between warm and cold in the Pacific, Morris’ monumental work cycles between two temperaments — the one irrepressibly gay (l’Allegro), the other pensive and introspective (il Penseroso). The poet Milton’s musings, richly ornamented by Handel, are brought to vivid life by Morris — though the cheeky choreographer doesn’t confine himself to any one method of word painting.

Thursday September 10, 2015

Mark Morris Dance Group Hosts Its Annual Free Open House at the Dance Center

FREE ACTIVITIES FOR ALL AGES - DANCE AND FITNESS CLASSES, PERFORMANCES BY MMDG, FOOD FROM LOCAL VENDORS, HARD NUT TICKET CONTEST, RAFFLE, PLUS A BEER GARDEN WITH LIVE MUSIC

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 9:30AM - 5PM

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. 

Press Contact

William Murray
Better Attitude, Inc.

212.254.1357
wilmurray@aol.com

Presenter or Press looking for hi-res images? 
Please contact us.

The mission of the Mark Morris Dance Group is to develop, promote, and sustain dance, music, and opera productions by Mark Morris and to serve as a cultural resource to engage and enrich the community.

Dance Center

© 2016 Mark Morris Dance Group - All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy | SightWorks Platform