Monday, May 4, 2015

Mark Morris at BAM

Life is getting a bit intense, but here is something about a performance I saw last week...

I don't know a lot about modern dance, but I've always liked Mark Morris's style from what I've seen.  So when there were still decent tickets to the Sunday matinee on Saturday night, I snatched them up for me and the boyfriend.

Program B began with "Crosswalk."  This piece was humorous and felt very natural and easy.  Maybe because of the beautiful spring day, the boyfriend said the dancers were like flowers blowing in the wind.  I very much saw why Morris is often praised for his musicality.  The movements really did embody the music.  Like, there were points where I thought, "Of course you have to move that way to that music.  It is the only thing that makes sense!"

The second piece, "Jenn and Spencer"was more somber, illustrating a couple's fluctuating relationship.  It was impressive how the movements reflected the music and a deeper emotional content so well.  There was a gorgeous moment where one dancer was on the floor, and the other did a slow promenade over her.  And then the roles in this movement were reversed later on.

The final and longest work was "Spring, Spring, Spring," Morris's take on "The Rite of Spring."  Instead of the traditional music, the score was interpreted by a jazz trio, the Bad Plus.  I have always loved the Stravinsky score, and I quite liked this version of it.  As for the dancing, I have to agree with other reviews that say it was a bit too contained and pretty.  Morris apparently didn't want to do a ""Rite" in the tradition of all the violent ones, which I guess just feels sort of weird to me as that is my primary association with the music (having seen bits of the Pina Bausch and Martha Graham ones on video).

 I also did not like the costumes for the male dancers in "Spring, Spring, Spring."  They had on these tight colorful pants on with no shirts (very American Apparel).  Combined with the women dressed in tie dye dresses and everyone wearing flower garlands in their hair, it felt a bit like a scene out of Coachella!

There were several moments that were very beautiful though.  My favorite was when they stood in three lines holding hands, and interweaved themselves moving forwards and back.  I also liked this motion they did, crossing their arms over their heads.  I felt that was ominous and was more in line with a "Rite."

Overall a lovely afternoon.

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