The innovative Mark Morris Dance Group performs L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato to music by Handel accompanied by the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, The Washington Bach Consort, and four vocalists.
Mark Morris Dance Group Mark Morris, Choreographer
with the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, Jane Glover, conductor The Washington Bach Consort, J. Reilly Lewis, artistic director and with Christine Brandes, soprano Lisa Saffer, soprano John McVeigh, tenor Thomas Meglioranza, baritone
L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato
"Morris's adaptation of Handel's oratorio brimmed with life, color, powerful patterns, and a joyous humanity." --Los Angeles Times
"...a joyous and enthralling fusion of dance, music, and theatrical magic that's touched by a genius of a very rare kind." --Chicago Tribune
The marriage of music and movement has always been at the heart of Mark Morris's creative process. To bring that central spark to the stage, his company performs only to live music. Now in Morris's masterwork L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato the Mark Morris Dance Group, which has performed with such esteemed musicians as Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax, moves to the lush sounds of Handel played by the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra under the baton of Jane Glover.
This evening-length work, last performed at the Kennedy Center over a decade ago, marked Morris's debut as Director of Dance at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels. Mark Morris Dance Group lets Handel and the poetic verses of John Milton--sung here by sopranos Lisa Saffer and Christine Brandes, tenor John McVeigh, baritone Thomas Meglioranza, and The Washington Bach Consort, directed by J. Reilly Lewis--lead the way through timeless scenes of dancers delighting in pastoral beauty. The result is a dance masterpiece that the New York Times hails as "a glorious outpouring of dance invention and humanistic imagery," and that Joan Acocella of the New Yorker says is "widely considered one of the great dance works of the 20th century."