Jamie Mei-Lin Barnett
As I watched Wednesday’s Vail International Dance Festival show begin with live piano music and two men jumping and turning on-stage, I was curious…just what would the Mark Morris Dance Group be all about?
The first piece, “Silhouettes,” shared lively modern choreography between two men. The dance was very carefree and I could not help but be intrigued by the duet. The suspensions they carried in their jumps were lively, and while their turns were not “regal” (classical ballet turns) the dancers performed two or more pirouettes with no problem.
The second piece (before intermission), “Going Away Party,” was different in that the dancers were dressed in western dress, not in traditional ballet or modern costumes. The piece was cleverly choreographed with several western-themed (and blues) songs as Morris reunited the dancers, using the theme of the music to set the tone. As the underlying theme kept reoccurring, separate dancers movements were reunited on different parts of the stage.
The final piece, "Grand Duo," started with movements from just the torso (upper body) making the dancers look like individual pieces of grass. During another part, two groups created movements that looked like casting spells (Harry Potter), or a fight from “West Side Story” (the Sharks vs. the Jets). The choreography and groupings made the stage almost like a mural with the scene unfolding right in front of my eyes.
Overall, last nights performance was moving as well as entertaining! Thank you Mark Morris!!
“Going Away Party” was one of my favorite presentations during the evening. I enjoyed the partner dancing, and the energy and excitement when the partners switched or they all danced as a group. The costumes were wonderful! They wore bright colors that really made them POP out. The music for “Going Away Party” included My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You, Milk Cow Blues, and When You Leave Amarillo, Turn Out The Lights. I really enjoyed it!
During “Grand Duo” the fourteen dancers were fabulous. In the beginning it seemed ghost-like, and by the end it brightened up – it was very high energy and exciting. I didn’t even notice that it was raining out because I was so focused on the great performance. The Mark Morris Dance Group was spectacular! I can’t wait to come back and see more!
Today I saw the Mark Morris Dance Group perform. It was a very interesting and memorable performance.
The performance started with a piece with two men. I thought it was interesting that they each had half of pajamas on. The second piece had seven people in it. This piece was humorous at times and visually appealing when they did group poses. I thought this dance was entertaining. The third and final piece had everyone in it. I thought this one was thought provoking and energetic.
I thought the dancers were all very powerful. They commanded my attention and caused me to think a lot. The dancing was abstract and strong. I will definitely remember this performance.
More photos of Mark Morris from Erin Baiano, our Festival photographer, here: