Mark Morris at the Coliseum

18th April 2010 | Inspirations, Reviews | 0 comments

the Upper Circle bar at the intervalOn Saturday we attended the last night of Mark Morris Dance Group performing ‘L’Allegro, Il Penseroso ed il Moderato’ at the Coliseum. Readers will remember that Mark Morris is a hero of mine.

Dance critics were in raptures about this show, but I still think that Mark Morris’s choreography is a special treat for musicians. It’s not just that his dance steps are wedded to the music – it’s more about his being unusually aware of the structure, emotion, texture and implications of the music, and unusually alive to the visual associations which can arise in a listener’s mind. It was Morris’s inspired take on the Schumann piano quintet which gave that rather hackneyed piece a whole new lease of life for me. Of course, choreography remains theoretical without dancers, and the present MMDG is absolutely superb. They make everything look natural and effortless, though it clearly can’t be. The live music was excellent too.

These days I seem to spend a lot of time getting worked up about people who are incompetent, poorly-trained, or don’t care about the outcome of their work. So it was not only a pleasure, but also a huge relief and a deep satisfaction to see something being done with such beauty and mastery.

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