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.