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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri Sep 16, 2005 7:56 am ]


Mosaic & United , Photo: Stephanie Berger


Programme One: Somebody’s Coming To See Me Tonight, All Fours, The ‘Tamil Film Songs In Stereo’ Pas De Deux and Grand Duo
Tue 18, Thu 20 & Sat 22 October, 7.30pm

Programme Two: From Old Seville, Mosaic & United, Candleflowerdance & V
Wed 19 & Fri 21 October 7.30pm & Sat 22 October 2.30pm

Sadler’s Wells: 0870 737 7737
Tickets £10 - £35

Meet the Artist: Thu 20 with Mark Morris - Free to ticket holders after the performance

As part of Mark Morris Dance Group's 25th Anniversary celebrations, the master of American contemporary dance tours the UK, returning to Sadler's Wells with two specially chosen programmes.

Programme One starts with the tender and poignant Somebody's Coming to See Me Tonight reflecting the optimistic Americana of Stephen Foster's music, followed by All Fours which, by turns, is somberly austere and touchingly graceful. The programme concludes with a welcome revival of The 'Tamil Film Songs in Stereo' Pas de Deux, a humourous piece set to contemporary Indian music, and Morris's breathtaking masterpiece Grand Duo.

Programme Two sees Morris himself perform in the flirtatious From Old Seville, followed by the mysterious and powerful Mosaic & United. In the second half, Morris presents his newest work Candleflowerdance to music by Igor Stravinsky and the astounding V (winner of Time Out Live Award for Outstanding Production).

Both programmes include live music.

‘As a choreographer Mark Morris is some sort of genius, as a performer he is a star and as a showcase, his company is one of America's most viable dance exports.’
The Independent

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Tue Oct 04, 2005 3:25 am ]
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The wit and wisdom of Mark Morris
By Debra Craine for The Times

Mark Morris's British tour will be his biggest yet. Our correspondent got a preview in California
Berkeley, California, seems the ideal place to track down Mark Morris. The home of the University of California Berkeley campus, this sleepy town across the bay from San Francisco is still beholden to tie-dye and the age of Aquarius. It’s a place where ageing hippies blend seamlessly into the patchwork of student radicalism and laid-back California sunshine.

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Author:  kurinuku [ Thu Oct 13, 2005 8:01 am ]
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Bucolic frolics to savour
by MARK MONAHAN for the Daily Telegraph

On which note, Morris has always expressed his preference for terrific dancers over "perfect" forms, which means that anyone used to the more homogenised slimness of classical troupes may be surprised by the variations in size and shape within his company.

published: October 12, 2005

Author:  kurinuku [ Thu Oct 20, 2005 6:12 am ]
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Mark Morris Dance Group
by JUDITH MACKRELL for the Guardian

It was over two decades ago that a wild, tangled-haired American first appeared in London, dancing emotional and unlikely stories to a selection of oddly unfashionable music.

published: October 20, 2005

Author:  Cassandra [ Thu Oct 20, 2005 10:05 am ]
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I saw the second programme last night; rather mixed in my opinion. It started rather brightly and flagged in the middle before ending on a high.

Mr Morris himself appeared in the opener, "From Old Seville". He is looking rather, urm..... cuddly these days, but can still shift himself around a stage rather well and was a hoot as a bloke in a bar who fortifies himself with drink to dance an ever wilder cachucha complete with castanets in a manner that was amusing and impressive at the same time.

I’m afraid neither of the following works “Mosaic & United” and the new “Candleflowerdance” did much for me, but “V” (is that the letter or the numeral does anyone know?) made a stonking finale; set to chamber music by Schumann it starts off low key and promising and with each successive movement Morris becomes more and more confident and inventive turning his dancers into a visual appendage of the music: A true modern dance classic.

Author:  AnaM [ Fri Oct 21, 2005 8:15 am ]
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I saw the first programme of the company. Full review will follow shortly, but just a few impressions on the works I saw.
The first part of the programme was good, both works featured had some interesting parts in them, but they were surpassed by the second half of the programme. The ‘Tamil Film Songs in Stereo’ Pas de Deux was simply hilarious. It has aged well and the gags still work.
Grand Duo, again, is still as outstanding as I remembered it when the company brought it a few years ago. Especially the finale is a work of genius and the audience of the evening responded accordingly.

As for V, it is the letter, not the Roman number. Years ago there was a very interesting interview with Morris on this work broadcast on the radio.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri Oct 21, 2005 2:44 pm ]
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Aw gee! Great though it is to be in Tallinn, Estonia, I do envy my colleagues savouring the Mark Morris Dance Group in London.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sat Oct 22, 2005 6:22 am ]
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Somebody’s Coming/All Fours/Tamil Film Songs/Grand Duo
By John Percival for The Stage

Now on a long British tour, the first of Mark Morris’s two London programmes proved not to be at his best past standards. The separate numbers were good enough, excluding the joke duet to Indian film music that proved a real damp squib. The other three pieces had strong and varied music, inventive choreography, but they did not have a full cumulative effect.

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun Oct 23, 2005 2:33 am ]
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And don't knock the vase over ...
By Jann Parry for The Observer

When Mark Morris first appeared in London's Dance Umbrella festival 21 years ago, his hairdo - a riotous cascade of ringlets - complemented the exuberance of his dancing. Grizzled now, and considerably bulkier, he's still buoyant. At the start of one of the two programmes his New York company have brought to this year's festival, he partners pint-sized Lauren Grant, castanets clicking, in an alcohol-fuelled duet, From Old Seville, although it's clear he would prefer hanging out with the barman standing at the wings.

click for more[/b]

Author:  kurinuku [ Mon Oct 24, 2005 1:32 am ]
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Mark Morris - Sadler's Wells, London
by CLEMENT CRISP for the Financial Times

I find the awful sweetness, the lachrymose sentiments, the hand- knitted manner of Stephen Foster's songs loathsome, and Morris responds to them (very properly, alas) with sweet, hand-knitted caperings that just avoid sentimentality. Watching this Somebody's Coming to See Me Tonight, I hoped it was an axe-murderer.

published: October 24, 2005

Author:  David [ Wed Oct 26, 2005 3:14 am ]
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‘Somebody’s Coming to See Me Tonight’, ‘All Fours’, ‘Candleflowerdance’, ‘Grand Duo’ - Mark Morris Dance Group
Hippodrome Theatre, Birmingham, England; 25th October 2005

After a six-year absence Birmingham welcomed back Mark Morris, this year celebrating the 25th anniversary of his outstanding company, the Mark Morris Dance Group. The programme gave us a wide range of flavours, harsh and soft, angular and lyrical, music from different periods. Typical of Morris though, it was never boring.

“Somebody’s Coming to See Me Tonight” is danced to songs from the American Civil War period. They have associations with slavery and minstrel shows but Morris ignores these, preferring to make a series of dances about love, sleep, death and romance. Highlights were “Soirée Polka” for which Morris created something reminiscent of an American square dance for four couples, “Linger in Blissful Repose” a quite beautiful adagio piece for three women, and “Katy Bell”, fast and fun for the whole ensemble. Where Morris is clever is in giving each dancer the chance to shine and the choreography for each song its own feeling, without ever losing the sense of whole.

Bartok’s String Quartet No 4 is not the sort of music most people would want to sit and simply listen to. Morris says that the music was “hard to learn”, which is quite believable. Like the music, the choreography for “All Fours” is angular and hard, complex and intricate, often with sharp staccato movement. Essentially, eight darker clad dancers act as a backdrop for four in cream but as ever with Morris it’s not that simple. Dancer’s break off from the group and relationships form before they return to the whole. Nicole Pearce’s superb lighting simply adds to the feeling, especially when she uses a plain, blood red cyclorama or harsh white light.

“Candleflowerdance” was probably the least satisfying work on show, maybe because it was the least accessible. All the action takes place on a plain white square, centre stage, framed by some candles and flowers in a vase. That may sound romantic. The movement is anything but. Quite harsh with lots of straight lines, both in the shapes and pathways, reflecting the space it’s being performed in and to some extent the music, although Stravinsky’s “Serenade in A” for solo piano is definitely one of his more listenable to scores. The piano is usually on stage but some reason, in Birmingham it was in the pit, which may have made a significant difference to the look and feel of the work.

The evening concluded with “Grand Duo”, a powerful large ensemble piece with more than a hint of ritual about it. The dancers project an incredible tribal energy, sometimes working in two straight lines, sometimes in circles. The choreography perfectly reflects Lou Harrison’s pulsating score for piano and violin, the dancers’ stamping and pounding feet simply adding to the sense of energy and the rhythms from the pit. Those in Birmingham who saw BRB’s production of Nijinsky’s “Rite of Spring” earlier in the year cannot fail to have noticed the parallels, although this one ends with an upbeat polka rather than death.

Morris is at his best is large ensemble pieces like this. He is one of the most musical choreographers working today although you can argue whether he is making it work for him or whether he’s a slave to it. Whichever it is, and maybe it should best be seen as an equal partnership, it works. The way he uses his dancers and constructs works is an object lesson for others.

Morris doesn’t appear outside London too often. Make the most of the chance to see him while he’s here and whatever you do, make sure you stay for his post-performance question and answer session - an entertainment in itself.

The programme was accompanied live by the excellent singers and musicians of the Mark Morris Dance Group Ensemble.

Author:  kurinuku [ Fri Oct 28, 2005 6:00 am ]
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Let the dance do the talking
by MARY BRENNAN for the Scotland Herald

Now this isn't Mr Morris coming over all snitty and un-co-operative on a personal whim. The question gets the guillotine because Morris isn't interested in fuelling a debate he thinks is phoney, irrelevant and a diversion from something that really matters: namely engaging with audiences. Suddenly, we're off. Morris waxing warmly, 19-to-the-dozen, on culture, audience development and music.

published: October 27, 2005

Author:  kurinuku [ Fri Oct 28, 2005 10:44 am ]
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The keys to longevity for Morris's dancers
by KELLY APTERfor the Scotsman

That adolescent desire for live music has seen the company go from strength to strength. "When I was 15 and first making pieces, if I had a friend who played the piano I used them instead of a recording of a giant orchestra," he says.

published: October 26, 2005

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun Oct 30, 2005 12:26 am ]
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By David Dougill for The Sunday Times

The Mark Morris Dance Group’s 25th-anniversary UK tour continued with an eclectic range of eight of his works, old and new, spread over two programmes at Sadler’s Wells. Besides high- quality dance from his excellent company, and his prolific imagination, there is the bonus of top-quality live music from the musicians and singers on the tour.

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun Oct 30, 2005 12:29 am ]
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Morris dancing
By JACKIE MCGLONE for Scotland on Sunday

MARK MORRIS is bemoaning his advancing years and his lack of girth control. Ever the drama queen, he wails, "I'm so old and so fat!" standing up to pinch an inch or three around his substantial midriff.

The extrovert American dancer and choreographer actually looks great. He has a new image - the trademark long, heavy-rocker curls have been trimmed into a silvery short-back-and-sides, and he has grown a beard, a Van Dyck affair, with a moustache that he can twirl like a Victorian villain. "What do you think?" he asks, activating his facial hair.

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