A sound approach

By JOHNETTE RODRIGUEZ  |  March 5, 2014

The closer for the show is Grand Duo, created to four of five movements in Grand Duo for Violin and Piano by Lou Harrison, a contemporary composer with whom Morris has frequently collaborated.

“The music is sort of rough and exciting,” Morris noted. With 14 dancers and elements of tribal dance — arms stabbing upward or out, heads bobbing and steps repeating in circular frames — Grand Duo leaves audiences charged up.

Asked about his method of creating choreography, Morris stressed, “We don’t improvise. There are little pockets inside Grand Duo where it should never be the same twice, and that’s the hard part, not doing it the same way. Everything else — you work very hard to get it the same way.

“I’m very open with myself when I work,” he continued. “I have a lot of thought and a lot of studying music, and then I make up a dance with the dancers in the room. I trust what I do.”

Morris still teaches and takes class with his dancers; stages and directs operas; does commissions for ballet companies; conducts and choreographs. His company, formed in 1980, has garnered international acclaim through its tours, a three-year stint as the national dance company of Belgium, film and TV appearances, and annual performances at the Tanglewood and Mostly Mozart festivals. Isn’t it high time to see the Mark Morris Dance Group right here in Providence?

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