Morristown

The Mark Morris Dance Group is back at BAM after three years, with two mixed bills consisting, for the most part, of new works. You can read my review for DanceTabs here.

 

Aaron Loux and Brandon Randolph in "Words." Photo by Ani Collier
Aaron Loux and Brandon Randolph in “Words.” Photo by Ani Collier

A New York Triple

On April 22, the Mark Morris Dance Group returns to BAM with two programs of new works, including Morris’s take on The Rite of Spring, which he calls Spring, Spring, Spring. If you want to know why, check out my preview feature for the Times:

The Mark Morris Dance Group in Spring, Spring, Spring.
The Mark Morris Dance Group in Spring, Spring, Spring.

Christopher Wheeldon’s new musical An American in Paris opens on Broadway on April 12. I spoke with him about the challenges of adapting the movie for the stage for this piece, and also to Robert Fairchild and Leanne Cope. Curious?

 

 

Leanne Cope and Robert Fairchild in An American in Paris. Photo by Matthew Murphy
Leanne Cope and Robert Fairchild in An American in Paris. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

 

And finally, a review of two flamenco shows, Soledad Barrio and Olga Pericet, at Joe’s Pub and the Repertorio Español. About as different as two flamenco shows can be.

Olga Pericet by Michael Palma.
Olga Pericet by Michael Palma.

 

Emilio Florido and Soledad Barrio in Cambio de Tercio. By Kevin Yatarola
Emilio Florido and Soledad Barrio in Cambio de Tercio. By Kevin Yatarola

Happy Nymphs and Happy Swains

The final tableau of Mark Morris's Acis and Galatea. Photo by Richard Termine for Lincoln Center.
The final tableau of Mark Morris’s Acis and Galatea. Photo by Richard Termine for Lincoln Center.

As part of the Mostly Mozart Festival, the Mark Morris Dance Group is performing Morris’s production of Handel’s opera “Acis and Galatea,” in which dancers and singers share the same sylvan world onstage. In the pit, Nicholas McGegan conducts the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale. Here’s my review of last night’s performance, for DanceTabs.

A short excerpt:

“Unlike his Dido and Aeneas (1989) and L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (1988), in Acis Morris places the four soloists…onstage among the dancers. The chorus is down below, with the players. (Morris also took this approach in his delightfully zany staging of Purcell’s King Arthur, staged at New York City Opera in 2008.) Here, the singers and dancers share the same world, in relative harmony.”

And a couple of images from the production:

 

Mark Morris’s “L’Allegro” Returns

Lauren Grant and Maile Okamura in Mark Morris's "L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato." Photo by Kevin Yatarola.
Lauren Grant and Maile Okamura in Mark Morris’s “L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato.” Photo by Kevin Yatarola.

As part of the spiritually-minded “White Light” festival at Lincoln Center, the Mark Morris Dance Group is performing Morris’s L’Allegro, Il Penseroso ed il Moderato, from 1988. The ebullient work is spiritual in the best sense: it lifts the spirit. Made in the first year of the company’s residence at La Monnaie opera house in Brussels, it reflects the choreographer’s delight at the resources at his command: a spacious stage, singers, full orchestra, endless rehearsal time. Twenty-five years later, it still feels fresh. Here’s my review, for DanceTabs.

And a short excerpt: “Throughout the piece, the mood and focus shifts from darkness to light, from the joys of nature to the hubbub of urban life, from animal instinct to human folly, architecture to philosophy. In one of the dance’s most blissful passages, set to the poem “As Steals the Morn Upon the Night,” ribbons of dancers trace lines across the stage….The rhythm of their motion remains steady. We feel implicated in the dance.”

John Heginbotham Takes on Satie’s “Relâche”

 

John Heginbotham, by Julieta Cervantes, from the NY Times.
John Heginbotham, by Julieta Cervantes, from the NY Times.

The former Mark Morris dancer John Heginbotham, presents his first evening-length work Dark Theater, at BAM’s Fishman Space Oct. 29-Nov. 2. Here’s a little q&a about the new piece, which is set to music by Satie, including a section of his final work, the ballet Relâche, and piano pieces.

And here, just for fun, is the film from Satie’s 1924 ballet:

Ojai Dispatch No. 2

Jenn Weddel and Spencer Ramirez in "Jenn and Spencer" at Ojai. Photo by Timothy Norris.
Jenn Weddel and Spencer Ramirez in “Jenn and Spencer” at Ojai. Photo by Timothy Norris.

…In which the Mark Morris Dance Group steals the show…

The company performed two programs, separated by a concert for toy piano (at dusk). It was an exciting evening of dance. Here’s a link to my review, for DanceTabs.

And here is a short excerpt:

“As always, Morris’s ability to shape the sounds coming from the pit through a combined language of gesture and seemingly simple movement is a constant source of surprise and almost primal satisfaction. Why does the swishing of a hand set to a two-note figure in the strings or a carving of the air to a line of melody feel so right? Who knows.”

The new DanceView is out!

And includes my  Letter from New York DanceviewFall with reviews of the Australian Ballet, Shantala Shivalingappa’s contemporary-dance solo evening at the Joyce, Larry Keigwin, Trisha Brown’s “Astral Converted” at the armory, and Mark Morris’s “Dido and Aeneas.”

As you can see from the TOC, it also includes Mary Cargill’s review of ABT’s spring season, great reading (though I disagree with her quite strikingly about Ratmansky’s Firebird!).

Yuan Yuan Tan (in Yuri Possokhov’s Raku) is on the cover. The photo is by Erik Tomasson. (Yes, he’s Helgi Tomasson’s son.)