A Selective Guide to the Arts in Los Angeles

Returning to the Southland and making its premiere appearance at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica, internationally renowned Mark Morris Dance Group & Music Ensemble will present “Mozart Dances” this Thursday through Saturday, June 9-11, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 12, at 2 p.m.

Unique to the modern dance community, this 16-member collection of virtuosic movers travels with its own orchestra in order to fulfill the choreographic vision of its artistic director, Morris. In this 2006 program, commissioned by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (New York), New Crowned Hope Festival (Vienna) and the Barbican Centre (London), this celebration of composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s 250th birthday includes two piano concerti and one sonata for two pianos.

Morris interprets these classical compositions in ways that The Times U.K. proclaimed are “the essence of childhood play — the boundless energy; the unselfconscious immersion in pretending; the relentless inventiveness; the sheer delight in creativity….” There are humorous and whimsical moments, compositional beauty and, as Judith Mackrell said in The Guardian, an ever-present “very human voice that Morris finds within the beauty of the music.”

Regaled for his inventive movement musicality, Morris is the recipient of many national and international awards for his dance-making talent. He has been commissioned by a global selection of ballet companies and is the recently published author of his own memoir, Out Loud (co-written with Wesley Stace). He is also the subject of a biography, Mark Morris, by Joan Acocella.

—Benn Widdey, Culture Spot LA

Photo credit: Kenneth Friedman


The Broad Stage Main Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica 90401