Mark Morris Dance, Palace Theatre
An interesting audience reaction greeted the two acts of the recent Mark Morris Dance Company's near sold-out performance at the Palace Theatre. Overheard comments at intermission of the performance cosponsored by Dance Cleveland, PlayhouseSquare, and Cleveland State University, were statements such as, "That was great." "I never knew dance could be such fun." "Morris is really creative."
Unfortunately, after the second act there was general silence as the large audience left the Palace theatre.
Why were there different reactions?
The opening act consisted of two Morris choreographed pieces, CANONIC ¾ STUDIES and FESTIVAL DANCE
Mark Morris once said, "I like to see people working together. What we call a giant solo in my company is about four bars long while twenty other people are doing something. Noted for combining modern dance, folk dance, traditional ballet and opera, he often combines simple steps into an intricate set of rhythmic movements.
CANONIC ¾ STUDIES, typical of Morris at his delightful best, showcased the dancers jumping, frolicking, falling, crawling, twirling, and prancing in perfect time to the sprightly "Piano Waltzes" arranged by Harriet Cavalli. There was a youthful, playful innovation to the work which enthralled the audience. The piece was danced to the well played live piano sounds of Colin Fowler.
Set to Johann Nepomuk Hummel's "Piano Trio no. 5 in E Major, Op. 83," FESTIVAL DANCE highlighted Morris's love of European folk dance. The well performed live accompaniment by Cyrus Beraukhim (violin), Andrew Janss (cello) and Colin Fowler (piano) added to the joyousness of the performance
The three segments, WALTZ, MARCH, and POLKA each contained many traditional movements including foot slapping, line dancing, czardas prancing, galloping, and partner switching. As with the opening number the conclusion was met with applause and whoops of joy.
Roy Berko, a life-long Clevelander, holds degrees, through the doctorate from Kent State, University of Michigan and The Pennsylvania State University. Roy was an actor for many years, appearing in more than 16 plays, 8 TV commercials, and 3 films. He has directed more than 30 productions. A member of the American Critics Association, the Dance Critics Association and The Cleveland Critics Circle, he has been an entertainment reviewer for more than twenty years. |
For many years he was a regular on Channel 5, ABC-Cleveland's "Morning Exchange" and "Live on 5," serving as the stations communication consultant. He has also appeared on "Good Morning America." Roy served as the Director of Public Relations for the Volunteer Office in the White House during the first Clinton Administration.
He is a professor of communication and psychology who taught at George Washington University, University of Maryland, Notre Dame College of Ohio and Towson University. Roy is the author of 31 books. Several years ago, he was selected by Cleveland Magazine as one of the most interesting people in Cleveland.