"Billy Smith" tag
Mark Morris Dance Group / Silkroad Ensemble: Layla and Majnun.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Mark Morris Dance Group / Silkroad Ensemble – Layla and Majnun – London

★★★✰✰   Mark Morris’s Layla and Majnun is a music concert with dancing, lamenting a love that cannot be. It’s an age-old story, spread across continents and centuries.

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 The.© Mat Hayward. (Click image for larger version)

Mark Morris Dance Group – Cargo, A Forest, Foursome, The – New York

★★★✰✰   Every few years the Mark Morris Dance Group presents an evening of dances at the company’s Brooklyn headquarters, a nondescript brick building across from BAM…

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.

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