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This article by Nicole Plett was published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on

October 21, 1998. All rights reserved.

Mark Morris, with Music

Before he was crowned as the titan of American modern

dance, Mark Morris could be found dancing at McCarter Theater. The

Mark Morris Dance Group returns for its seventh, SRO appearance here

on Tuesday, October 27, at 8 p.m. The program features the area

premiere

of "Medium" (1998), a work for six dancers set to the music

of Princeton native and Pulitzer Prize winner John Harbison, and the

East Coast premiere of a new solo, "Greek to Me" (1998).

Originally

created for dancer Peter Healey to three short pieces by Harry Partch

titled, "Studies on Ancient Greek Scales," this will be

Morris’s

first performance in the work.

Also new is "I Don’t Want to Love," to music by Monteverdi.

Completing the program is the group work "Gloria," set to

"Gloria in D" by Vivaldi, a 1981 group work that was an early

indicator of this choreographer’s enormous gifts.

One of the important benefits of this McCarter appearance is live

musical accompaniment for the Harbison and Monteverdi works. Adored

for his visceral movement and consummate musicality, Morris has always

performed with live musicians whenever possible. Even when, in the

case of Handel’s "L’Allegro, il Penseroso, ed il Moderato,"

his signature masterwork, that musical ensemble numbers in the

hundreds.

In this upcoming concert, "Medium" will be performed to

Harbison’s

"November 19, 1828," a composition named for the date of

Franz Schubert’s death. An homage to the Romantic composer, it will

be performed by company music director Ethan Iverson on piano, with

string trio.

Morris biographer Joan Acocella notes that, since 1980, Morris has

set half of his repertory to vocal music. "When you have a person

reading music and playing the violin, you have the sound of that,

but it’s one generation removed from the body. Singing is like

dancing.

It’s the body, the body in the world, with nothing in between,"

he told her.

Narrative and wit are hallmarks of Morris’s choreographic voice. Also

favored by Morris’s McCarter fans are his impromptu, after-concert

chats when he fields any kind of odd-ball question from the audience

with wit and aplomb. The Mark Morris Dance Group is also scheduled

to appear at the State Theater, New Brunswick, on Friday, May 21,

1999.

Mark Morris Dance Group, McCarter Theater, 91

University

Place, 609-683-8000. $32 & $35. Tuesday, October 27, 8 p.m.


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