"Dido and Aeneas" tag
Isaac Mizrahi designs for Acis and Galatea.© Isaac Mizrahi. (Click image for larger version)

Mark Morris Dance Group – Acis and Galatea – New York

As he has shown again and again, the choreographer Mark Morris has a way with Baroque music. He clearly adores it…

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.

Mark Morris Dance Group – Dido and Aeneas – New York

It is something of a cliché to say it, but the guiding principle of Morris’s Dido – as in the more recent Socrates – is simplicity. No single element – musc, words, dance – is privileged above the others.

Marie-Agnes Gillot and Stephane Bullion in Orpheus and Eurydice.© Stephanie Berger. (Click image for larger version)

Paris Opera Ballet – Orpheus and Eurydice – New York

Bausch is a mystery. To some, she represents the summit of poetry and expression, worthy of a cult-like following. Clearly, these dancers derive great emotional sustenance from performing her work. And it suits them. But, with the exception of Gillot’s solo and a few moments here and there, it left me cold.

Mark Morris – in L’Allegro, Il Penseroso ed Il Moderato – Washington

It’s hard to top Morris’s dancers for spontaneity, dramatic force, and exhilarating energy. On opening night, the dancing was nothing less than brilliant: From the opening “Mad Crossing” to the concluding “Finale,” the cast commanded the stage, dancing with sheer joy and élan, compelling the audience at the end of the performance into a thunderous standing ovation.

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