Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

August 7, 2007

Mark Morris Dance Company

Jacob’s Pillow
Aug. 7-11
By Stacy Ashley

The Mark Morris Dance Company returned for the Pillow’s 75th Anniversary Season with four pieces. Recognizing the opportunity to put live music with live dance, Morris invited musicians and vocalists from the Tanglewood Music Center. There is just something about having live music with live dance that makes it so much more.

The first two pieces were recently premiered and are nice additions to long list of works by Morris. In Italian Concerto the dancers move with precision performing trademark steps- the syncopated movements and the pendulum type swinging with arms and legs. I
In the piece Looky the dancers drift on and off the stage becoming either onlookers or the exhibit itself at a museum. Dancers move from one tableau to another, while other dancers perform ballet moves with mock histrionics. Morris, known for his humor and satire, didn’t miss the opportunity for some of the dancers to then become critics as they scribbled notes onto an imaginary notebook.

The last two pieces performed were Candleflowerdance and Love Song Waltzes. Candleflowerdance is a beautiful piece set to Stravinsky’s ‘Serenade in A’. The stage is set with scattered lit candles and flowers in a vase. The lighting is subtle to accentuate the mood. The six dancers push, pull, lean and collapse against each other, another Morris specialty. In Love Song Waltzes dancers shift through different partnering, moving across the stage creating formations that fold into one another. A witty and sentimental statement about love, Love Song Waltzes, was a beautiful way to end the evening.