Mark Morris Dance Group


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Work Details

Gong

Composer

Colin McPhee

Music

Tabuh Tabuhan

Costume Design

Isaac Mizrahi

Lighting Design

Michael Chybowski

Premiere Date

May 01, 2001

Premiere Venue

Metropolitan Opera House
Lincoln Center

Premiere Location

New York, NY

Premiere Company

American Ballet Theatre

Number of Dancers

15

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Details

In McPhee's description of the score, the core of the ensemble is a "'nuclear gamelan' composed of two pianos, celesta, xylophone, marimba, and glockenspiel," giving it a highly percussive balance of sound. The orchestra is augmented by two Balinese gongs and cymbals.

Gong has also been performed by The Royal Ballet and Ballet West.

“Gong (created in 2001 for American Ballet Theater) is a playful romp steeped in Orientalist posturings sparked off by a fabulous, energetic, gamelan-inspired score by Colin McPhee…With golden bands round their ankles and sheathed from head to toe in the designer Isaac Mizrahi’s vibrant colours, the 15 dancers are a neon rainbow splintering into shards of sharp, scampering movement that is both tongue-in-cheek and grandly serious.” -Allen Robertson, The Times, October 24, 2002

“Gong looks like the cautious but fascinated approach of a gifted, intelligent modern-dance choreographer to the apparent eccentricities or mannerisms of classical ballet." -Jennifer Dunning, The New York Times

“Mark Morris cheerfully crosses between modern and classical dancers, …but in Gong he takes both company and audience beyond their usual limits…At points Morris dismantles his moves into comically crude elements…At other points he layers his components into dance of ravishing complexity…This is both pure ritual and surreal comedy…one good reason why a ballet company should hire a choreographer from the rebellious world of modern dance is to stir up the mix. And Morris has given value for money.” -Judith Mackrell, The Guardian, May 14, 2001

“The jubilant, fanciful work demonstrated the great possibilities of classical ballet when merged with modern dance ideas.” -Judy Bloom, The Daily Californian

“With your attention firmly in hand, the 15 dancers sweep through a series of Asian-flavored dances to the Asian-flavored music of Colin McPhee’s “Tabuh-Tabuhan.” -Sylviane Gold, Newsday

“…emotionally stimulating and physically beautiful.” -Stephanie von Buchau, Bay Area Reporter

“Both the choreography and the score revel in oddity…Gong looks like the cautious but fascinated approach of a gifted, intelligent modern-dance choreographer to the apparent eccentricities or mannerisms of classical ballet. Jennifer Dunning, The New York Times, Date Unknown

“Mark Morris cheerfully crosses between modern and classical dancers, …but in Gong he takes both company and audience beyond their usual limits…At points Morris dismantles his moves into comically crude elements…At other points he layers his components into dance of ravishing complexity…This is both pure ritual and surreal comedy…one good reason why a ballet company should hire a choreographer from the rebellious world of modern dance is to stir up the mix. And Morris has given value for money.” -Judith Mackrell, The Guardian, May 14, 2001

“The jubilant, fanciful work demonstrated the great possibilities of classical ballet when merged with modern dance ideas. Here, dance without an apparent theme or narrative revealed more clearly how abstract emotion can be communicated to an audience in a way that is humorous and joyful.” -Judy Bloom, The Daily Californian, September 21, 2001


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