★★★✰✰ With works from Yuri Possokhov (Senseless Kindness), Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui (Laid in Earth), Stina Quagebeur (Take Five Blues), Russell Maliphant (Echoes) and Arielle Smith (Jolly Folly)
Tag - Dido and Aeneas
As he has shown again and again, the choreographer Mark Morris has a way with Baroque music. He clearly adores it...
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.
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.
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.
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.