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Where Is Mark Morris Going?

Mark Morris Dance Group in the Mostly Mozart Festival 2009 / Rose Theater, Lincoln Center, NYC / August 19-22, 2009

Mark Morris Dance Group in
Empire Garden.

Photo: Gene Schiavone

Mark Morris, who shares top honors (with Paul Taylor) as America’s greatest living choreographer, is at mid-career, but maybe no longer at the top of his game.
The full article appeared in Voice of Dance ( on August 25, 2009. To read it, click here.


  1. Barbara Palfy says

    In re the latest Mark Morris program I largely agree with you: some felicitous patterns repeated almost endlessly, phrases whose evolution was entirely predictable, glued to the music without playing with it; lovely dancers withal. Give me “Gloria” — and Ruth Davidson and Tina Fehlent — any time.
    But is it just me or did anyone else notice that “Empire Garden” is Ives’s summer band concert at the town green in the gazebo — and the costumes were the band uniforms, not military per se?. Or, am I utterly mistaken?
    Thanks for elucidating (as always) whole hunks of the rest.

  2. I would like to note that the music for all three works programmed for this concert were superbly played—and not only by “Manny and Yoyo” (as Mr. Morris so charmingly referred to them in the course of his preconcert interview with Joan Acocella), but by all the musicians. (Full disclosure: the most excellent violist for “V,” Jessica Troy, has performed with my own dance company.) All three scores were played with thoughtfulness that never compromised verve, intense interpretive subtlety, and attention to every nuance of each composer’s unique style and voice. Chamber music in our city is customarily on a high level, but at the Rose we were truly spoiled. I felt simply swept, not away, but into the sound world of each piece. It was a very special event musically, and the musicians felt it too: Jessica wrote me afterward when I wrote to congratulate her, saying that although she must have played the Schumann Quintet some 250 times so far, these performances were nights to remember.

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