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A Conversation with Mark Morris and Simon Morrison

(Princeton, NJ) The Lewis Center for the Arts Program in Theater and Dance and the Department of Music will co-sponsor A Conversation with Mark Morris and Simon Morrison on Tuesday, February 24 at 5:00 p.m. in 50 McCosh Hall. This event is presented in conjunction with an 8:00 p.m. performance of the Mark Morris Dance Group at the Matthews Theater at McCarter Theatre Centre.

Hailed as one of America’s greatest choreographers of the 20th century, Mark Morris founded the Mark Morris Dance Group in 1980 and since then has collaborated with a broad array of artistic luminaries ranging from Yo-Yo Ma and Zakir Hussain to The Bad Plus. Morris is noted for his musicality and has been described as “undeviating in his devotion” to scores. His dance company is unsurpassed in its commitment to performing with live music. He has worked extensively in opera, directing and choreographing productions for The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, English National Opera, and The Royal Opera, Covent Garden.

Simon Morrison, Professor of Music at Princeton University, teaches courses on nineteenth- and twentieth-century music, with an emphasis on Russia and France. He is the author of Russian Opera and the Symbolist Movement (2002) and The People’s Artist: Prokofiev's Soviet Years (2009), and the editor of the Bard Music Festival volume Prokofiev and His World (2008).

Mark Morris and Simon Morrison collaborated on a production of Prokofiev's original 1935 version of Romeo & Juliet, On Motifs of Shakespeare, for which Morrison reconstituted the composer’s original intentions and twenty minutes of previously unheard music, and for which Mark Morris provided choreography. The production was premiered at the Bard Summerscape Festival in July 2008, and it is currently on an international tour.

"What defines Mark Morris," said Morrison, "are his remarkable choreographic innovations as well as his sensitivity to, and respect for, archival sources. Morris goes back to source musical materials and reanimates them with his choreography. His works are historically minded, but they are not bogged down with history. They are about the present, chiefly the joy of being alive."

A Conversation with Mark Morris and Simon Morrison will take place on Tuesday, February 24 at 5:00 p.m. in 50 McCosh Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

The Lewis Center for the Arts is part of a major initiative announced by President Shirley M. Tilghman in 2006 to fully embrace the arts as an essential part of the educational experience for all who study and teach at Princeton University. The Lewis Center for the Arts will have a significant impact on the University and the larger community it serves. The public is welcomed to a full range of lectures, exhibitions, concerts and performances at the Center. Many of the Center’s events are free or charge a nominal admission fee.

Media Contact

Marguerite d’Aprile-Smith
Director of Communications
Lewis Center for the Arts

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