Strange Brouhaha

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Mark Morris Was Here

The Mark Morris Dance Group performed last night at the Overture Center, and we were fortunate enough to be there. Not only that, but there was a discussion with Morris himself after the show, which was even more fun.

First of all, there was live music. It made a huge difference. It was like having fresh versus frozen; everything was lighter and fuller and more resonant. Second of all, I knew I was in the presence of real dance art. Nothing against Momix or Trinity, but Morris was aiming to the side of and significantly beyond those companies. There was an overall coherence and obvious meaningfulness to his work which was so fulfilling to watch. I just felt that I was getting *more* from him and his incredible company (which he called "strong, mature, beautiful dancers" and he was absolutely right, plus I would add "totally individual") than I have from any of the other performances we've been to.

It was a real treat that Morris himself was there. When he came out to share in the curtain call, he was on the same level of performance energy as the dancers, and shared in their graceful gestures. In particular, Morris has a stunning port de bras (carriage of the arms) and I wished I could have seen him dance. Then afterwards, when he came out to talk to us, he was funny, very intelligent, and drolly authoritarian ("All these other choreographers talk about 'giving the dance to the dancers' and 'their ideas are just as valid as mine,' and I think that's total bullshit!"). There was a real intellect there, and I appreciated it. We all would have kept him there all night--which I'm sure happens everywhere he gives a talk, given the way that he actually got up and pretty much ran offstage ("And we love the Overture Center and thank you and that's all goodnight!!") when the time was up.

I hope he comes back next year.


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