Role of the Audience (04:11)
Mark Morris hopes audience members will have few preconceptions and simply experience his work. He discusses using humor in his choreography.
Emotional Range (02:31)
Morris reflects on using diverse music, costumes and concepts in his work. He aims to avoid predictability and stays open to new ideas during the choreography process.
Dance as a Visual Art (03:48)
Morris talks about freezing dancers into tableaus to emphasize the music. He constructs his works based on a theme and variations model, and tries to simplify movements and ideas.
Constructing a Dance (03:44)
Morris starts with a piece of music and choreographs moves based on its elements. He provides a structural example from "Deck of Cards."
"My Party" (02:08)
Morris discusses structural elements of a dance with four couples of different gender combinations.
"Grand Duo" (04:09)
Morris discusses his abstract piece set to Lou Harrison's music. He choreographed the last movement first, and then filled in the rest of the dance. He sets certain limits on each piece to provide creative structure.
Musical Inspiration (05:40)
Morris explains why he starts each dance by selecting a piece of music. He discusses his interest in folk dance and compares choreographing to instrumental versus lyrical music.
Dance Speaking through Movement (02:51)
Morris discusses George Balanchine and Merce Cunningham's ideas about placing dancers on stage and using their actions to create a story.
Choreography Nuts and Bolts (05:33)
Morris uses memory, diagrams and videotapes to reconstruct a dance. He occasionally uses ballet terms or descriptive words to direct dancers, but more often demonstrates the movements he has in mind.
Nature of Dance (02:09)
Morris discusses the ephemeral aspects of movement. He believes attending a performance in person is a richer experience than watching a video of a piece. Having new dancers join the company inspires him to choreograph new works.
Fear of Modern Dance (03:54)
Morris reflects on why the general audience is reluctant to attend contemporary dance performances. He believes choreography must engage viewers.
Demands on Dancers (03:13)
Morris says his work challenges dancers in terms of rhythms, coordination, and rigorous rehearsal and performance schedules. Making movement appear simple without being dry or boring requires skill.
Philosophy of Dance (03:12)
Morris criticizes choreographers that take themselves too seriously or over explain their message. He discusses how expressing his identity as a gay man has evolved as he matures.
Evolving Style (03:14)
Morris reflects on how his choreography has changed over his career. Older work was ornate; newer work is simpler and more efficient. He discusses choreographing "Peccadilloes" for Mikhail Baryshnikov and Guillermo Resto
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