Even in the dark and without his lipstick-pink pashmina, I recognised choreographer Mark Morris standing chatting with two friends outside Sadler’s Wells Theatre an hour before his show last night. It wasn’t like bumping into : Morris was dressed in old corduroys and a shapeless black t-shirt. I thought it might be his “please don’t recognise me” outfit, but he was still wearing it two hours later when he took the stage for a question-and-answer session with about a thousand of us besotted fans.
When I saw him in the street I knew I might never have the chance again, so I barged in and stammeringly tried to tell him how much I admire his work. I told him I was a musician and loved the way his dance was entirely based on, derived from and inspired by the music – not just its outward rhythm and structure, but its emotional and psychological meaning too. ‘You’re the only modern choreographer I’ve seen who really understands music!’, I babbled. He smiled and said, ‘Well, the only one who understands it in a way that you agree with!’ I pressed on: ‘But surely dance should be a response to music, not something separate from it?’ He looked more serious and said, ‘Well, yes. I agree. I’m old-fashioned that way.’ Old-fashioned? Timeless, I’d say.