Dance review: Mark Morris Dance Group

DOES Mark Morris create the visual embodiment of our secret wish to move whenever we hear music, the extension of the discrete toe-tap? Is he using our eyes to give us new ears for music? Whatever the trick, it’s close to magic.
Words cleverly explores Mendelssohns songs without words. Picture: ContributedWords cleverly explores Mendelssohns songs without words. Picture: Contributed
Words cleverly explores Mendelssohns songs without words. Picture: Contributed

Mark Morris Dance Group

His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen


Having been greatly missed in Scotland over recent years, the Mark Morris Dance Group’s only UK appearance on their current tour was at Aberdeen’s DanceLive festival this week. It proved one of those events that leaves the audience feeling privileged to have witnessed a great choreographer’s work.

Morris is renowned for his deep musical understanding, and the dancers demonstrated that this instinct remains as sharp as the keenest blade, with each piece creating an interpretation of music that was powerful, subtle and entrancing. Who knew a dance set to Bach’s Italian Concerto (with pianist Yegor Shevtsov) could shimmer with such joy and grace?

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Alternatively, The Wooden Tree illustrated Ivor Cutler’s surreal voice and quirky tunes, relishing Cutler’s unique vision with wit, delightful cheek and earthy humour.

The most recently created piece, Words, cleverly explores Mendelssohn’s Songs Without Words. Violinist Georgy Valtchev joined Shevtsov for this work, resulting in a treasure.

Jenn and Spencer is a powerfully elegant, loose-limbed duet set to Henry Cowell’s music, beautifully performed by Jenn Weddel and Brandon Randolph. Finally Polka, with music by Lou Harrison,rounded off the occasion in strident, magnificent style.

Morris’s creativity springs from our human urge to move to music, and the result transports the mind. Aberdeen struck lucky.

Seen on 28.10.14


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