Critics of the Smuin era said the dancers were sloppy but advocates felt the boundaries of conventional ballet programming were expanded. Patrons were exposed to the classics, the forgotten and the new. Francis Ford Coppola was brought in to do sets. The art component of ballet seemed to open for me. I thought why couldn’t a color specialist dive into this world where musicians, and filmmakers, were adding excitement to the form.
The red movement would pulse with dramatic music like a beating heart and the red costumes would be provocative as a bullfighter’s form fitting couture. The blue movement music and choreography would be hypnotic like ocean waves and the blue costumes would billow like clouds floating effortlessly in the sky.
The visual receptors and the biological response to color stimulus paired with the mood triggering power of music, interpretive movements and gestures of the human body would reinforce the ballet concept. Imagine how a stage filled with movements in red would move an audience in a different way than a stage filled with blue movements.
Mark responded with a clear statement, “I work from music not from ideas!” Having seen an abundance of Mark’s works I should have recognized his style. He finished his drink and invited me to his performance that evening. With a heavy heart, I drove back to San Francisco. My year long effort came to an end with Mark’s declaration that music rules his creativity. Mine however, is ruled by color. We touched but we didn’t dance.
Visitation Ballet: http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2009/oct/30/mark-morris-programme-2-review
Morris Portrait: http://www.jessefrohman.com/pages/portport_2.html
Beatles Ballet: http://www.cb-pr.com/press/smuinseason.html
NYCB Set: Architectural Record, September 2010, Photo by Paul Kolnik
Miyake Design: http://arttattler.com/designfuturebeauty.html
Pacific Ballet: http://markmorrisdancegroup.org/resources/photo_gallery/
Italian Concerto Ballet: http://blog.chron.com/peep/2010/01/mark-morris-lou-voodoo/
Mark Morris Dance Troupe: http://www.cornish.edu/summer/dance/courses/mark_morris_dance_group_pre-professional_dance_intensives/
Color Gifts: Jill Pilaroscia
Morris + Pilaroscia: Donald Jones Photography, 1999
Jewels Ballet: http://artsplace.blogspot.com/2009/03/jewels-at-boston-ballet.html
Sandpaper Ballet: http://articles.sfgate.com/1999-04-29/entertainment/17684581_1_joanna-berman-dancers-mark-morris