"Aaron Loux" tag
Mark Morris Dance Group in The Hard Nut.© Frank Wing. (Click image for larger version)

Mark Morris Dance Group – The Hard Nut – San Francisco

★★★★★   The house was abuzz on Friday evening for the opening performance of Mark Morris Dance Group’s The Hard Nut. It’s been five years since Cal Performances hosted the production, and clearly fans had been anxiously awaiting its reappearance.

Aaron Loux and Billy Smith in The Hard Nut.© Julieta Cervantes. (Click image for larger version)

Mark Morris Dance Group – The Hard Nut – New York

★★★★✰   Few alternative takes on tradition survive this long and The Hard Nut remains as subversive as it is satisfying.

Lesley Garrison and Durell R. Comedy in Layla and Majnun.© Susana Millman. (Click image for larger version)

Mark Morris Dance Group – Layla and Majnun – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   Where Morris succeeded beautifully was in melding Eastern dance styles into his balletic modern vocabulary in deep torso bends, dervish whirls and arms extended beyond his already expansive port de bras.

Mark Morris Dance Group in Mozart Dances.© Richard Termine. (Click image for larger version)

Mark Morris Dance Group – Mozart Dances: Eleven, Double, Twenty-seven – New York

★★★★★   It’s difficult to think of a better way to bid farewell to a New York summer than with Lincoln Center’s “Mostly Mozart” festival, and seeing Mark Morris Dance Group performing Mozart Dances was the icing on the cake.

Mark Morris's The Hard Nut.© Julieta Cervantes. (Click image for larger version)

Mark Morris Dance Group – The Hard Nut – New York

As with the Balanchine version, the Hard Nut’s success is a foregone conclusion.

Mark Morris Dance Group in Spring, Spring, Spring.© Ken Friedman. (Click image for larger version)

Mark Morris Dance Group – Pacific, Words, Whelm, Grand Duo, Crosswalk, Jenn and Spencer, and Spring, Spring, Spring – New York

Morris seems particularly interested in deploying turning and spinning movements these days; turns appear again and again in different forms in many of the new works, especially fast chaînés or dizzying rotations in one spot.

Jenn Weddel and Spencer Ramirez in Jenn and Spencer.© Stephanie Berger. (Click image for larger version)

Mark Morris Dance Group – Italian Concerto, A Wooden Tree, Jenn and Spencer, Crosswalk – Washington

The evening offered a sampler of Morris’s newly-minted works (A Wooden Tree, Jenn and Spencer and Crosswalk, all made in 2012-13) and his splendid Italian Concerto from 2007.

Rita Donahue and Mikhail Baryshnikov in A Wooden Tree.© Tim Summers. (Click image for larger version)

Mark Morris Dance Group — Canonic ¾ Studies, A Wooden Tree, Silhouettes, Grand Duo — Sarasota

What was curious about A Wooden Tree is that it did not include much dancing in the traditional sense. It was as if Morris had decided to do an experiment: to make a dance with as little dancing as possible, practically a pantomime.

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