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Community Engagement on Tour

As part of our commitment to deepen and enhance the audience experience, we offer an integrated program of custom-tailored arts and humanities-based activities in partnership with each touring city/community. We collaborate with presenters to provide a variety of opportunities for community members of all ages, interests, and levels of experience with and without disabilities to engage, explore, and learn. Activities include discussions, films, and exhibits as well as music and dance classes, including our popular Dance with MMDG and Dance for PD® programs.

When on tour MMDG’s reach extends beyond performances and classes. We strive to create an environment that fosters interest and attracts new audience members. Some of the supplemental programming we can facilitate include:

  • Post show Q+A with Mark Morris, musicians or dance group members
  • Backstage tours
  • Class visits by Morris (various topics/ related coursework)
  • Talks, lectures, symposia
  • Film Screenings with intros or talks – Dido & Aeneas, Falling Down Stairs, Capturing Grace
  • Morris curated film series (related topics or films)
  • Photo exhibits (portrait show or performance related) customized for venue or gallery space
  • Online access to libretti, interviews, essays
  • Roundtable discussions with MMDG dancers or musicians
  • Discussion with MMDG staff on arts administration, lighting design, stage management, etc.
  • Art museum walkthrough with Morris as tour guide
  • Costume exhibit
  • Wellness talks: Eating for Energy, The Nourished Dancer. Centered around basic healthy nutrition, includes a holistic approach to all areas of lifestyle and self-care.
  • Producing workshop – discussing the elements that go into making a performance happen
  • Preshow talks for general audience or donors

We offer a variety of classes and workshops tailored to each touring community. Classes are designed to meet the needs of dancers and non-dancers of any level. This includes repertory workshops where students learn phrases from the dances that MMDG is performing, and Dance with MMDG,  our multi-generational class for all ages and skill levels. Additionally, we partner with college/university dance departments to offer a shadow program where select dancers shadow the company, attend company class and rehearsals, and get a behind-the-scenes look at ‘tour-life.’  Other classes we offer include:

  • Ballet or Modern technique classes
  • Repertory Workshops
  • Get Fit with MMDG (open-level fitness class)
  • Pilates, yoga or strength training classes
  • Creative Dance and Movement workshops for children
  • Storytime with Movement (dance related books and movement workshop)
  • Dance for PD® programming (classes, talks, films)
  • Class for senior citizens
  • Adaptive dance

Music is an integral aspect of all of Morris’ work and educational activities. Led by Mark Morris and musicians from the MMDG Music Ensemble, we offer workshops in music theory and performance, host roundtable discussions, and pop up music performances in the days leading up to the performance to engage new audiences. Additional music activities include:

  • Listening Party and music discussion with Morris and MMDG Music Director
  • Morris curated local radio shows (Music I Want You To Hear)
  • Master Classes

For advanced and professional artists, we offer a variety of professional development opportunities. Using Mark Morris’ repertory as pedagogy, we have developed specialized workshops in four areas of focus.

  • Musicality in Dance
  • Designing a Unit/Lesson Plan
  • Dance Composition
  • Performance readiness

Additional programming we offer include:

  • Dance for PD® Training Workshops
  • Teaching Artists seminars
  • Mark Morris Dance Accompaniment Training Workshops


Photo by Chris Setter Photography

Another way we can engage with each community we perform for is through social media.  We can provide dancers or musicians to do an Instagram takeover of the theater’s account.  We have also participated in Facebook live events promoting the performances and deepening the audience’s understanding of the work.

Each program provides unique opportunities to engage audiences through additional activities. Some examples include:

Pepperland daytime lobby activation

  • Theremin demonstration
  • Beatles photo booth
  • Period art
  • Morris and Iverson talk
  • Dance with MMDG

Layla and Majnun

  • Pre-show talk on Mugham singing, history, cultural connections (by Azerbaijani musicologist)
  • Pop-up mini concerts (5-10 minutes, various locations)
  • Class visits on collaboration: Western/Eastern instruments; dance/music/opera
  • Howard Hodgkin lecture

Repertory program:

  • Post show Q&A
  • Master class for preprofessional students
  • Dance with MMDG community class for people of all ages/abilities
  • Dance for PD® class
  • Class at local senior center
  • Class at local children’s center