Dance, Music, and Literacy Project

In classes accompanied by a professional drummer, students learn about the multiple art forms that come together to make up one of Mark Morris’ most acclaimed works, L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato. Students study the poetry by John Milton, music by George Frideric Handel and paintings by William Blake. Students also gain a basic understanding of dance vocabulary and learn sections of Morris’ choreography from L’Allegro. At the conclusion of the residency, the students are invited to visit the Dance Center to watch the company perform excerpts from L’Allegro, participate in a Q&A session with the dancers, and perform Morris’ choreography alongside MMDG company members.


Children develop a solid foundation of dance movement, acquire music and dance vocabularies, establish an appreciation for the value of hard work and practice, gain a comfort and familiarity with the arts, and learn to be respectful and attentive audience members. The program also enriches life skills by building self-confidence, nurturing motivation, developing spatial reasoning, and strengthening collaborative skills through dance.

  • “I learned that you have to work together to accomplish a dance.”
  • “The dance was so fun, I did it many times in my house.”
  • “I liked our classes because it was cool and I love dancing now. Every time we did something new. I was very sad when we stopped.”
  • “I learned that to choreograph something you need to ask if it’s right, but you have to feel it’s right too.”

Participating Schools
PS 38, PS 110, PS 230, PS 284, PS 20, The Brooklyn Transition Center, PS 446

Teaching Artist

Janelle Barry John Eirich

Bring this program to your school. Contact Alex Cook, Community Programs Director, for more information.