"L’Allegro Il Penseroso ed Il Moderato" tag
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'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.

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…

Mark Morris Dance Group in Socrates.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

Mark Morris Dance Group – Programme A: The Muir, Crosswalk, Socrates – London

Who knew that Beethoven composed his own cover version of ‘Sally in our Alley’? Mark Morris, obviously: the (English) song is the centrepiece of The Muir…

Jenn Weddel, Stacy Martorana and Rita Donahue in L'Allegro, il Penseroso, ed il Moderato.© Kevin Yatarola. (Click image for larger version)

Mark Morris Dance Group – L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato – New York

L’Allegro, with its painterly tableaux, classical references, and unselfconscious evocations of sex and death, feels both ancient – almost pagan – and perfectly of our time…

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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