Magazine article Dance Magazine

Sublime Simplicity in Morris `Foursome'

Magazine article Dance Magazine

Sublime Simplicity in Morris `Foursome'

Article excerpt

MARK MORRIS DANCE GROUP BROOKLYN ACADEMY OF MUSIC BROOKLYN, NEW YORK FEBRUARY 27-MARCH 3, 2002

At the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Mark Morris gave New Yorkers a divine treat--Foursome, an aptly named quartet for two generations of dancers. The "senior" half was made up of longtime company member Guillermo Resto and Morris himself; their younger counterparts were Shawn Gannon and John Heginbotham; two wonderfully musical dancers capable of holding their own (even in the presence of the boss). But what could have resulted in an embarrassing exploration of new and old bodies, or worse, yet another dreary piece about gender, was a classic folk dance for four men in Morris's deceptive, unpretentious style. They dance, you watch, it's over. The catch is, you want to see it over again--immediately. Morris's finest dances leave you wanting more.

The quartet begins with the dancers--dressed in everyday clothes, but colorful so as not to be dull under stage lights--standing in a square formation along a slight diagonal. Accompanied on the piano by the company's music director, Ethan Iverson, playing Erik Satie's Gnossiennes for Piano (Nos. 1, 2, and 3) and Johann Nepomuk Hummel's Seven Hungarian Dances, they walk, run, and jump with effortless, pedestrian ease. While the framework of the movement is basic, the detailing in the gestures, as usual, is not. Morris's affinity for melding balletic steps with a relaxed foot or a simple turn of the head may be instantly beguiling, but it is his rigorous timing, paired with a specificity of seemingly carefree movement, that is most rewarding. …

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