When I interviewed the dancer Aaron Loux for my Times feature on the Mark Morris Dance Group’s BAM season, he reflected on what it’s like to dance for Mark Morris. What he said has stuck with me:
“I had to unlearn a way of thinking about dance that was too complicated. I came in trying to think about everything I was doing before and even while I did it….Mark’s approach is really simple, it’s really all about action. A lot of his corrections are just ‘do this, and don’t think about it.’ It’s about learning to do really simple things like seeing someone do something and copying what they’re doing, and the way they’re doing it. I think it’s about opening yourself and quieting down the thinking part and trusting your instincts. You can usually get a better result that way, and faster.
Great interview! I’ve always wanted to hear from a company dancer what it’s like to work with Mark Morris. His direct interviews are certainly interesting! Have you seen the one from Rose Eichenbaum’s book, ‘Masters of Movement’? I highly recommend it. So glad to have stumbled upon your blog! From one dance-writer to another, -Jess from Bodies Never Lie
Thanks so much, Jess. You might be interested in this interview I did with two of his dancers at Fall for Dance: http://www.nycitycenter.org/Home/Blog/October-2014/What’s-It-Like-to-Dance-for-Mark-Morris
And, perhaps also this profile for The Nation http://www.thenation.com/article/177447/plainspoken-mark-morris
Thanks for the links! My friend Lesley is a dancer with the company but I always like the interviews in print. I always feel that they show how smart and considerate so many dancers are, especailly if the public and private words differ. I’ll be curious to see if this is the case!