Mark Morris Presents Pepperland

Mark Morris Dance Group Presents…

PEPPERLAND

Review writer- Megan Rainford BA

Beginning with the music of course, Mark Morris dazzled us with a splendid newly explored take on the Beatles album ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club’, celebrating 50 years. With Ethan Iverson composing the spectacular re-make of six of the original songs, the audience were surprisingly entertained with the newly developed music score. The sound was refreshing and cleverly executed with ease, giving clear dynamic changes and textures throughout the performance, allowing the dancers to move in and out of time. The dancers entered the space with vibrant and colourful costumes, taking the audience on a journey through a classically choreographed work. With sweeping movement and counter balancing throughout, the material showed clear relationships.

Strong choreographic devices were explored throughout the performance, however remaining steady in the variety of movement, very much focusing on repetition. Switching from group to solo and duet work, Morris is determined and successful in the creation of perfectly executed and rehearsed patterns and pathways. Although not original, it showed beautiful technique and a strong cohesive company. The movement allowed for a contrast in a strong balletic form, to a sense of fluid jerking movement with connection to the 60s flower power and hippy atmosphere.

The methodical movement showed a fabulous spatial awareness with exciting and unexpected lifts, throwing and catching the dancers in the space. Exploring the use of pedestrian and symbolic phrases, the performers moved in and out of time with the music. Allowing for connection to the music in a variety of ways, inviting the audience to explore the concept of music influence on movement. Not only was music a key theme within this performance, but Morris gave the dancers an opportunity to explore this further through vocals. This was beautifully achieved with clear intent and continuity. A sense of joining and thoughtfulness was clearly presented.

With the finale showing a grand collaboration, with fun and humorous engagement, the dancers show a cyclical ending, truly taking the audience on a journey through time. Both audience members and performers can be seen to rightfully enjoy this performance, its history and its exploration of fantastic music. A wonderful performance, that although may be classical in choreography, the idea remains original and unique to Mark Morris.

 

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