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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 2:16 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
LMCtechposted elsewhere:

In the "Platee" vein, Mark Morris has staged a new opera. From the SF Chronicle.

Quote:
REVIEW
Mark Morris Group, English National Opera ready 'King Arthur' for stateside invasion

Allan Ulrich, Special to The Chronicle

Thursday, June 29, 2006

(06-29) 04:00 PDT London -- Give Mark Morris an extended 17th or 18th century score and watch him make magic.

The choreographer's characteristic touch is there, and then some, in his latest full-length project, the intoxicating production of Henry Purcell's "dramatick opera," "King Arthur," which premiered at the London Coliseum on Monday evening. A collaboration between English National Opera and the Mark Morris Dance Group, this delectable hybrid features the entire company and, in multiple assignments, a septet of talented young British singers, under the crisp musical direction of Jane Glover. Staged and choreographed by Morris, "King Arthur" plays in repertory until July 8 and then travels across the Atlantic for its American bow Sept. 30 at UC Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall, with Cal Performances as co-producer. The package also will be presented at a later date at New York City Opera.


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Intersting to see Mr. Ulrich back in the Chronicle.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 2:20 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
King Arthur
By George Hall from The Stage

Choreographer/director Mark Morris brings his own dance group to star in this production of Purcell’s semi-opera, and they take over the show. In a gesture that can only be described as cavalier, Morris junks Dryden’s spoken text, which binds the lengthy musical interludes together. They are literally decontextualised, and what is left makes little sense.

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 Post subject: Mark Morris at Mostly Mozart Festival 2006
PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 10:56 am 
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Location: New York, NY
Mozart Dances
Mark Morris Dance Group
World Premiere

This season, Mostly Mozart Festival audiences will be treated to the world premiere of a piece commissioned by Lincoln Center that combines the recognizable genius of Mark Morris with the interpretative gifts of Louis Langrée and Emanuel Ax. Set to Mozart piano works, Mozart Dances is performed by the Mark Morris Dance Group and features pianist Emanuel Ax performing with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra led by Maestro Langrée. With the collaboration of these exquisite performers, Mozart Dances is certain to provide fresh insight into Mozart’s music.

Thursday, August 17 at 8:00pm
Friday, August 18 at 8:00pm
Saturday, August 19 at 8:00pm

Mark Morris Dance Group
Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra
Louis Langrée, conductor
Emanuel Ax, piano
Yoko Nozaki, piano
Tickets: $75 / 55 / 40 / 25

For tickets and more information, please visit http://www.lincolncenter.org or call CenterCharge at 212.721.6500


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 1:15 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
“King Arthur”, Mark Morris Dance Group and English National Opera, Coliseum, London, 26th June 2006


This year, the Mark Morris Dance Group is celebrating its 25th Anniversary and as one strand of this celebration, English National Opera (ENO) commissioned Morris to direct as well as choreograph this new production of “King Arthur”. Morris has many virtues and one of these is his ability to forge relationships with major institutions such as San Francisco Ballet, New York City Opera, ENO and Cal Performances, Berkeley with the latter three all credited alongside his own company as co-producers of “King Arthur”. These collaborations allow him to work on a much larger scale than is possible with his own Group and are a reminder of the heady days when he had almost limitless resources as resident company at La Monnaie Theatre in Brussels.

The link with ENO is proving particularly fruitful and he has lead successful revivals of several of his famous works from the 1980’s: a short opera, “Four Saints in Three Acts” and the choreography for “Nixon in China”. But now ENO have taken the plunge and given him a free hand with a rarely performed evening length work: Purcell’s “King Arthur”.

For this premiere, a certain amount of schizophrenia is evident in the publicity. The programme and other promotional material show a guy with chiselled features in chain mail and I wondered how Morris would tackle Dryden’s story of King Arthur’s loves and battles. In the event, Morris tells us: “I chose to discard the spoken text (which I don’t like) and keep all of the music (which I do).” Thus Arthur, Dryden and the story are abandoned and we now have “…a pageant… a sort of vaudeville…” And as far as I am concerned, it’s a marvel.

Morris rarely uses virtuoso steps and “King Arthur” is no exception, but from the opening section with dancers moving from right to left across the stage, simple movements in unison, canon and groups prove most effective. The lead singers are incorporated into the movement and this unity of approach seems to delight the performers as much as us. Without the narrative, the scenes become episodic, but what the heck!

“The Chase” gives us a witty scramble through a series of doors and “What Love Does” features Mr Frost singing from within a fridge-freezer. Love features strongly in many scenes and its exuberance conquer all. The final Act with “Fairest Isle” features a memorable Maypole sequence, which prompted some tut-tutting from aficionados of the form, as they had seen more complicated variations. But for most of us it was new and perfectly judged, like much of Morris’s output.

Conductor, Jane Glover, set a speedy beat and soloists, chorus and orchestra all seemed carried along with the inventiveness and sheer joy of the Morris conception. Make no mistake this is a new art work, utilising the Purcell score, rather than a radical variation on the original and perhaps this explains why some traditionalists were not amused. For me, I was sorry that I couldn’t fit in a second visit.


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