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The Broad Stage Presents Mark Morris Dance Group & Music Ensemble in MOZART DANCES

 Mozart Dances has been praised as music embodied, with three exquisite Mozart piano works set to Morris's buoyant, exhilarating choreography.

The Broad Stage Presents Mark Morris Dance Group & Music Ensemble in MOZART DANCES

The Broad Stage presents the venue debut of Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG) with the MMDG Music Ensemble in Mozart Dances, June 9 through 12. Mozart Dances has been praised as music embodied, with three exquisite Mozart piano works set to Morris's buoyant, exhilarating choreography. The program features a world premiere chamber arrangement of Piano Concerto No. 27 by MMDG Music Director Colin Fowler, along with Piano Concerto No. 11 and Sonata for Two Pianos, all performed live on The Broad Stage's mainstage.

Choreographer Mark Morris has been referred to as "the Mozart of Modern Dance" for his shared characteristics with musical genius, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Mark Morris's prolific dance making, devotion to music, and his early expression of talent have distinguished him as a choreographer and director of modern dance, ballet, and opera.

In honor of the European composer to whom he is likened, Mark Morris was commissioned by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts to create a dance for the 250th birthday celebration of Mozart. The result was the widely regarded Mozart Dances, which his company, Mark Morris Dance Group, premiered in 2006. Three piano compositions inspired these dances and are played live as his company of dancers performs what reviewers and fans alike have called "music visualizations." Mark Morris is so skilled in music, that he often creates his dances by reading sheet music and responding to the notes with his own movement invention.

Vital to Mark Morris's creative process are his collaborators, which for this work include scenic designer Howard Hodgkin; costume designer Martin Pakledinaz; and lighting design James F. Ingalls, all of whom are renowned artists in their field and partners in fulfilling Mark Morris' vision for each dance work.

Mark Morris said of Mozart Dances, "I started hearing the concertos as characters ... there's an incredible and touching relationship between the piano in relation to the orchestra. The music to me is thrilling, strange in its unusual combination, and it exactly what this dance came from."

Andrew Blackmore-Dobbyn said on Bachtrack.com, "In the three works that comprise the Mozart Dances, Morris engages in a beautiful conversation with the music. He illuminates themes and instrumental voices but is never confined by the structure of the music. Mozart's music is filled with intelligence, wit and even passion but it's always restrained by an overlay of civility and Morris has found an effective way to convey all of that in his Mozart Dances. Mark Morris stands apart as a choreographer for his remarkable use of music. He has many different ways of expressing what he hears and it all adds up to joy."

Alastair Macaulay said in The New York Times, "Throughout Mozart Dances, Mark Morris emerges as the most artfully musical choreographer alive."

Judith Mackrell said in The Guardian, "To see Mozart through Morris's eyes is even better ... what makes this evening ... is the very human voice that Morris finds within the beauty of the music. All that the audience has to do is be beguiled by the experience."

The Times U.K. proclaims, "If you could capture the essence of childhood play - the boundless energy; the unselfconscious immersion in pretending; the relentless inventiveness; the sheer delight in creativity...you'd have the Mark Morris Dance Group in Mozart Dances."

The Australian adds, "Mozart Dances reveals Mark Morris as the great magician of contemporary dance and its foremost optimist. In this seemingly carefree work he offers principles of profound beauty, not in a didactic way but with simplicity and grace."

Founded in New York City in 1980 by artistic director and choreographer Mark Morris, the Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG) has been called "the preeminent modern dance organization of our time" (Yo-Yo Ma), its members receiving "highest praise for their technical aplomb, their musicality, and their sheer human authenticity." (Bloomberg News). 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. The Mark Morris Dance Center was opened in 2001 to provide a home for the Dance Group, subsidized rental space for local artists, programs for local children and seniors, and dance classes for students of all ages and abilities.

The MMDG Music Ensemble, formed in 1996, is integral to the Dance Group. "With the dancers come the musicians...and what a difference it makes" (Classical Voice of North Carolina). The Ensemble's repertory ranges from 17th and 18th century works by John Wilson and Henry Purcell to more recent scores by Ethan Iverson, Lou Harrison, and Henry Cowell. The musicians also participate in the Dance Group's educational and community programming at home and on tour. The Music Ensemble is led by Colin Fowler, who began to collaborate with MMDG in 2005 during the creation of Mozart Dances.

Tickets starting at $60 are available at thebroadstage.org or by calling 310.434.3200, or visiting the box office at 1310 11thSt. Santa Monica CA 90401, beginning two hours prior to performance.



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