Thursday, September 25, 2008

Mark Morris Dances Dido

Mark Morris, dancer and choreographer, is one of the most beautiful people on Earth.
Big and blocky and delicate.
A Percheron blended with Mme Butterfly.

(Photographed here, left, by Annie Liebovitz, 1989, and below, right, by Joanne Savio, 1995. From the exhibit Hidden Soul of Harmony:
Mark Morris: Portraits; Celebrating Twenty-Five Years
.)

Looking through dance books to find steps for the Fly, I came across Joan Acocella's book Mark Morris (1993).

I almost prefer reading Acocella on dance to watching dance itself.
(To be fair, I generally prefer words to bodies anyway; but she is an amazing writer.)



Since I have modern representations of classical drama and myth on the brain, I was thrilled to find Morris had choreographed Dido and Aeneas.

Here, below, he dances the role of Dido, Queen of Carthage, with his Mark Morris Dance Group, to "Dido's Lament," by Purcell.
This is right before she kills herself because Aeneas has abandoned her.

"When I am laid in earth,
May my woes create
No trouble in thy breast.
Remember me.
But ah! Forget my fate."

Morris can be very funny, but there's no Monty Python here.



I like Morris's view of art too.
He said:
"Nobody is ridiculous. Girls who shop at the mall are also noble-hearted, and can be the star of a ballet."

5 comments:

bink said...

Dido is anything but funny... beautiful.

Jennifer said...

"Nobody is ridiculous. Girls who shop at the mall are also noble-hearted, and can be the star of a ballet."

That's just awesome. Really.

fresca said...

It is achingly beautiful, isn't it.

"Nobody is ridiculous" sums up half of my belief system.
The other half is "Everybody is ridiculous."

Lady Penelope said...

Dido's lament is perhaps my top track of all time. I'd never heard of Mark Morris before. His interpretation was just stunning. And his philosphy? almost as good as yours :-)

fresca said...

I agree: Morris lamenting is stunning.

I thought his philosophy needed just that smidge of an addendum.[smile]