"Lauren Grant" tag
Mark Morris Dance Group in Pepperland.© Mat Hayward. (Click image for larger version)

Mark Morris Dance Group – Pepperland – London

★★★✰✰   Morris has added two performers to the line-up since the Liverpool premiere, which now stands at seventeen dancers, spreading the load for his continual torrent of flowing, elegant, musical choreography.

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 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.

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.

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 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.

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