Mark Morris is the most exciting and important choreographer to have emerged in the last two decades. Still only in his mid-thirties, Morris has already produced more than eighty dance works, and their originality, brashness, and beauty have made him one of the signature American artists of our time. Morris was born in Seattle in 1956. His Mark ...
Mark Morris is the most exciting and important choreographer to have emerged in the last two decades. Still only in his mid-thirties, Morris has already produced more than eighty dance works, and their originality, brashness, and beauty have made him one of the signature American artists of our time. Morris was born in Seattle in 1956. His Mark Morris Dance Group began performing in New York in 1980. By the mid-eighties, PBS had aired an hour-long special on him, and his work was being presented by America's foremost ballet companies. Morris's dances are a mix of traditionalism and radicalism. They unabashedly address the great themes - love, grief, loneliness, religion, community - yet they are also lighthearted, irreverent, and scabrous. Joan Acocella's probing portrait is the first book on this brilliant and controversial artist. Written with Morris's cooperation, part biography, part critical study, it describes how he has lived and how he turns life - and music and narrative - into dance. It also covers Morris's three years as director of dance at the Royal Opera House in Brussels, where the classical aesthetic and sexual boldness of his dances precipitated an international scandal. Including seventy-eight photographs covering the entire corpus of Morris's work to date, Mark Morris provides an ideal introduction to the life and work of America's leading young choreographer.
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Publishers Weekly, 1993-11-08 This book is the first to seriously take stock of Morris, who is widely considered to be the leading modern dance choreographer of his generation. Born in Seattle, Wash., in 1956, Morris lived there, in the author's view, as a more or less contented iconoclast before heading for New York City in 1976 and dancing with several companies, then starting the Mark Morris Dance Group in 1980. Acocella devotes chapters to the preoccupations of his work, its themes (e.g., ``irony and sincerity'') and fundamental character, and others to the character of the choreographer himself as seen in the context of his career. One of the most absorbing chapters is largely narrative--``Brussels,'' telling of Morris's (``Mr. Outrageous'') difficult years from 1988 to 1991 in conservative Belgium, where he was splendidly set up in the Theatre Royal de la Monnaie as dance director. But Acocella is also an acute observer of the dances themselves, and goes beyond them to venture general thoughts on dancing that linger in the mind (``What makes most classical art interesting is not an achieved balance but a struggle for balance''). Photos not seen by PW. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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