Mark Morris is an American choreographer and director whose contemporary dance work is acclaimed for its craftsmanship, ingenuity, humor, and live musical accompaniments, which have been a feature of every international tour of the company since 1996. Morris is popular among dance aficionados, the music world, and mainstream audiences.
The Mark Morris Dance Group was formed in 1980 and gave its first concert that year in New York City. The company’s touring schedule steadily expanded to include cities both in the U.S. and in Europe, and in 1986 it made its first national television program for the PBS series Dance in America. In 1988, MMDG was invited to become the national dance company of Belgium, and spent three years in residence at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels. The company returned to the United States in 1991 as one of the world’s leading dance companies, performing across the U.S. and at major international festivals.
Mark has collaborated with artists from Mikhail Baryshnikov to Yo Yo Ma to Isaac Mizrahi. He has created works for the San Francisco Ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet, and American Ballet Theater and has stage directed operas for The Metropolitan Opera, English National Opera, and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
“If music had arms and legs, it would look like the Mark Morris Dance Group. Morris’ choreography transcends the idea of scripted and blocked movements vs. improvisatory physical expression to fuse music and movement so completely that the movement he creates seems an inexorable part of the music to which it’s set.” – Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
“As choreographers go, Mark Morris isn’t particularly mysterious. The starting point of all of his dances is a nearly religious adherence to music, but beneath that surface, it’s the range that makes you wonder, what drives such a fervent mind? That Mr. Morris reveals his musical sophistication through barefoot modern dancing is what gives his choreography such primal elegance. Whether the effect is joyful, bombastic or as quiet as can be, the connective tissue is rhythm: the way a melody might hook its way into a foot and lengthen out through the opposite shoulder. He finds ways to make bodies sing all the notes, not just the high ones. – The New York Times
Thank you Grynberg Family Endowment for supporting Newman Center Presents dance programming.