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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Revisiting Choreographer Mark Morris’ ‘Resurrection’

Choreographer Mark Morris in San Francisco in 2006. (Flickr/Charles Haynes)

Choreographer Mark Morris in San Francisco in 2006. (Flickr/Charles Haynes)

One of the country’s most recognized modern dance troupes, the Mark Morris Dance company, celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, and Wednesday begins a seven-performance run at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, Massachusetts.

On the bill is “Resurrection,” a dance that Morris choreographed to Richard Rogers’ “Slaughter on 10th Avenue.”

“Resurrection” is a rebirth, of sorts, because the music was already a famous ballet about gangsters and a stripper created by legendary choreographer George Balanchine  for the 1936 musical “On Your Toes.”

And when the Boston Pops commissioned Mark Morris to re-choreograph the dance a few years back in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Richard Rogers, Morris wanted to completely re-interpret the music.

Here and Now producer Lynn Menegon was in a New York theater with Mark Morris  back in 2002 as a film crew videotaped the ballet for an Evening at Pops broadcast.

And she found out that Morris’ version is more Busby Berkeley than Balanchine.


  • Mark Morris, choreographer

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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