Great Performances – Mark Morris Dance Group: L’allegro, Il Penseroso ed il Moderato

Posted by SDPB on

Merriment and Milton are hardly synonymous, but the poet who penned Paradise Lost also inspired George Frideric Handel’s L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, which concludes “Mirth, with thee we mean to live.” Choreographer Mark Morris garnered international fame for this piece, considered a landmark achievement, and set to Handel’s Baroque masterpiece, in which a colorful array of dancers embody the ecstasy of art that transforms.

Mark Morris Dance Group: L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato – hosted by Mikhail Baryshnikov — airs on GREAT PERFORMANCES Friday, March 27, 2015 at 9pm CT, 8 MT.

In discussing the work, Baryshnikov has admired “the way they perform it — with pride for humankind. There’s restraint and dignity and satisfaction and pride. But at the same time there is an unspoken camaraderie; hands touching, running, and they suddenly become one and disappear like nothing has happened onstage.”

GP2.jpg

The performance was filmed July 2014 at the Teatro Real in Madrid, Spain.

L’Allegro was Mark Morris’s premiere work as Director of Dance at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, Belgium on November 23, 1988, and in the intervening years, has been performed to critical and audience acclaim all over the world. Winner of numerous awards including a Laurence Olivier Award, L’Allegro uses Milton’s text (sung in English and performed without super titles) and features sets inspired by William Blake’s later watercolors.

“It is Mr. Morris’s great achievement to have further intensified the composer’s eloquence by expressing his lyric energy in powerfully expressive bodily movement, and, moreover, to have done so with such naturalness that the music sounds as though the composer had intended it to be danced from the beginning,” observed The Wall Street Journal.

And reviewing a recent New York revival of the work, Alastair Macauley of The New York Times marveled, “It seemed a masterpiece in its opening season; 25 years on, it is also a classic.”

GP1.jpg

Founded in New York City in 1980 by Morris, the Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG) is considered one of the preeminent modern dance companies, its members praised repeatedly for their technique and their musicality. 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 in Brooklyn, NY.

Choreography: Mark Morris. Scenic Design: Adrianne Lobel. Costume Design: Christine Van Loon. Lighting Design: James F. Ingalls.

A production of THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET, Teatro Real, Bel Air Media and the Mark Morris Dance Group in association with TVE, Mark Morris Dance Group: L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato is directed for television by Vincent Bataillon and produced by François Duplat, John Walker and Joan Hershey. For Great Performances, Bill O’Donnell is series producer and David Horn is executive producer.

Great Performances is funded by the Irene Diamond Fund, The Lewis “Sonny” Turner Fund for Dance, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, The Agnes Varis Trust, The LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, The Starr Foundation, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, Jody and John Arnhold, Elise Jaffe and Jeffrey Brown, and PBS.

Visit Great Performances Online at www.pbs.org/gperf for additional information about this and other programs.

subscribe to sdpb email updates food blog link image learning blog link image living blog link news and information blog link science and technology blog link sports blog link image

Related content from SDPB Radio - Art

2018 Sculpture Walk Installation

In The Moment ... May 2, 2018 Show 328 Hour 2 Visitors to Sioux Falls will soon be able to stand beneath a giant...

Kay Adkins Brown Discusses "Shapes & Shadows" Exhibition

In The Moment ... March 22, 2018 Show 302 Hour 1 Galen A. Brown's service in Vietnam informed 50 years of his art...

Students Make Art Real Through Poetry Out Loud

Shakespeare isn’t boring to Kassondra Gooley. The West Central High School senior talks about poetry the way some...

Photographer Paul Horsted

In the Moment ... March 12, 2018 Show 294 Hour 1 Photographer Paul Horstead discusses Custer's expedition, the...

Books

Read, Baby, Read: What's America's Best-Loved Novel?

In The Moment ... May 22, 2018 Show 342 Hour 1 What's America's best-loved novel? You get to decide. PBS launches...

Author Kirk Wallace Johnson's "The Feather Thief"

In the Moment ... May 1, 2018 Show 327 Hour 1 The centuries-old art of salmon fishing fly-tying has a dark side. It...

Jane Yolen Celebrates #Yolen365 And Counting

In The Moment ... April 26, 2018 Show 324 Hour 1 In March, author Jane Yolen released her 365th book. That means you...

Christine Stewart: 41st Great Plains Writers Conference

In The Moment ... March 21, 2018 Show 301 Hour 2 The 41st Great Plains Writers Conference kicks off on March 23 at...

Music

The Claudette's: Making Music In The Midst Of Crisis

In The Moment ... May 24, 2018 Show 344 Hour 1 The Claudettes play Total Drag Records in Sioux Falls, Saturday, May...

Corb Lund, Country Music, And Finding What's Real On The Road

In The Moment ... May 18, 2018 Show 340 Hour 1 Country musician Corb Lund visits South Dakota on the "Western...

Mr. Evans Leaves The Podium

In The Moment ... May 15, 2018 Show 337 Hour 2 After 40 years of teaching orchestra in Rapid City, Mr. William Evans...

Dr. Frank VanNuys

In The Moment ... May 2, 2018 Show 328 Hour 1 Who are you? Where do you come from? A new exhibit at the Journey...

Theater

Broadway Choreographer Chet Walker

In the Moment ... April 9, 2018 Show 311 Hour 1 The University of South Dakota Theater Department presents "Cabaret"...

Images of the Past: Stage To Screen

In The Moment ... November 27, 2017 Show 227 Hour 2 A new exhibit at the Old Courthouse Museum tells the story of...

Personalities: From Huron High to Broadway

Singer, actor, and teacher Joseph Mahowald graduated from Huron High School in 1977. He went on to study music and...

In The Moment ... Alex Meyer's Scenic Design

In The Moment ... May 10, 2017 Show 090 Hour 2 Alex Meyer. He's a junior art and theater major at Augustana College...