Review Roundup: Mark Morris Dance Group's THE TROUT

Review Roundup: Mark Morris Dance Group's THE TROUT

What did the critics have to say about Mark Morris Dance Group's THE TROUT?

This buoyant triptych of dances by "the most influential choreographer alive" (New York Times) features works set to music by Monteverdi and Brahms that reveal the intricacies of romantic love and a world premiere set to Schubert's famous "Trout" quintet.

The production had its premiere this past weekend at Lincon Center as part of the Mostly Mozart Festival.

Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG), founded in New York City in 1980 by choreographer Mark Morris, has a mission to develop, promote, and sustain dance, music, and opera productions by Morris and to serve as a cultural resource to engage and enrich the community. MMDG has been called "the preeminent modern dance organization of our time" (Yo-Yo Ma). Live music and community engagement are vital components of the Dance Group, which has toured with its own musicians, the MMDG Music Ensemble, since 1996. Through Access/MMDG programming, the Dance Group provides educational opportunities in dance and music to people of all ages and abilities while on tour internationally and at home at the Mark Morris Dance Center.

Since it opened in 2001, the Mark Morris Dance Center in Downtown Brooklyn has provided a home for the company, a resource for music and dance classes in all styles for all ages and abilities, rehearsal space for the dance community, and free outreach programs. MMDG is dedicated to increasing access to the arts, and brings to this proposed project its commitment to community programming with an emphasis on under-resourced areas, its high artistic standards rooted in the work and vision of Mark Morris, and a philosophy of open access and "dance for all."

Let's see what the critics have to say!

Alastair Macaulay, NY Times: The wonderful simplicity of the Morris dancers' stage manners tends to be more lovable than the schematic material they've been given. Mr. Morris makes sure that we register his motifs - they often come like punch lines, more staccato and end-stopped than the musical figures they illustrate - after which his reiterations are more than we need. One effortful lift, in which a woman is held aloft by her pelvis while her head and limbs aim downward, soon looks like a gimmick.

Apollinaire Scherr, Financial Times: The school-of-fish nature of the ensemble wouldn't have been so noticeable if The Trout hadn't followed the 1989 Love Song Waltzes, to harsh Brahms lieder, and the 1996 I Don't Want to Love, to Monteverdi madrigals (all the music live and thrillingly rendered). For each of the songs, a different dancer stood apart. Whether lovelorn or refusing, she maintained a unique relation to the group at hand. The drama was deeply affecting because it was so particular.

Elizabeth Zimmer, Village Voice: Morris delights in off-kilter structures, and in displaying body parts - elbows, for instance - that don't often get attention on dance stages; his métier is a fusion of folk, ballet, and modern idioms that manages to appear entirely natural. He's taken, in recent months, to preparing dances for cold storage, as it were, ready to resuscitate after he's gone - but he's just 61. Has working on the Schubert spooked him? The Viennese composer only made it to 31.

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