Sensitivity

4th November 2009 | Concerts, Daily Life, Inspirations | 0 comments

I’ve just realised that this is my hundredth blog post on this website. I am a centenarian!

To celebrate, here’s a sweet story I heard from Mark Morris when I attended his question-and-answer session the other night at Sadler’s Wells.

He was complaining about someone sitting in the balcony at one of his shows last week who couldn’t resist texting her friends on her mobile phone throughout the evening. Her phone kept lighting up in the dark, and her large earrings jangled as she tossed her hair. Lots of people were annoyed, including him, and he wasn’t even in the balcony.

We moved on to other topics. About ten minutes later, someone said that Morris’s work struck her, in a good way, as ‘childish’. Quick as a flash he said, ‘Childlike, not child-ish. Childish is jangly earrings and texting.’

He went on to say that it amazes him how theatre audiences put up with inconsiderate behaviour that would never be tolerated at a concert, particularly a chamber music concert or recital. A while ago in New York, he told us, he attended a solo piano recital by the great Italian pianist Maurizio Pollini. The whole audience was listening in rapt silence. At one point, Mark Morris ‘crossed his corduroyed legs’, as he put it, causing the tiniest susurration of soft fabric against soft fabric, and about 20 people whirled round with one accord and glared at him.

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