Mark Morris' L'Allegro, il Pensorosco, ed il Moderato: A Celebration

Overview

Mark Morris' 1988 dance, L'Allegro, il Penseroso, ed il Moderato, set to music by Handel and poems by John Milton, and inspired by watercolors by William Blake, has been called a work of "utopian grandeur," "a masterpiece of craft, invention, and feeling," and "in scale and complexity, in a category by itself." From London to Berkeley to Houston, audiences ecstatically cheer for it. More than 200 photographs capture each of the piece's 32 interconnected dances and are accompanied by the text of Milton's ...

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Overview

Mark Morris' 1988 dance, L'Allegro, il Penseroso, ed il Moderato, set to music by Handel and poems by John Milton, and inspired by watercolors by William Blake, has been called a work of "utopian grandeur," "a masterpiece of craft, invention, and feeling," and "in scale and complexity, in a category by itself." From London to Berkeley to Houston, audiences ecstatically cheer for it. More than 200 photographs capture each of the piece's 32 interconnected dances and are accompanied by the text of Milton's interwoven poems, "L'Allegro" and "Il Penseroso," to which Handel set the music. New Yorker dance critic Joan Acocella provides a new essay; Alastair Macaulay and Wendy Lesser also offer appreciations. An overview of the making of L'Allegro, based on interviews with all of the principal artists and many of Mark Morris's dancers, provides an unprecedented glimpse at the creation of this modern-day masterpiece. A glorious celebration of one of the great dance masterworks of the twentieth century, the book contains over 200 color and black-and-white photographs plus reproductions of the Blake watercolors from which Mark Morris drew inspiration. "Possibly the most exhaustive examination of a single dance work ever published." —New York Times "An extraordinarily handsome new book ... A thorough and valuable critique and appreciation of this glorious dance work." —The New York Observer "A beautiful coffee-table book.... Elegantly photographed, edited, and produced. A treasured gift for a Morris fan."—Dance Magazine

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Editorial Reviews

Christine Temin
An entire book devoted to a single choreographic work is almost unheard of. There are children's books explaining The Nutcracker. On a more scholarly level, there is the 1985 Balanchine's 'Mozartiana' by Robert Maiorano and Valerie Brooks, a rare example of a thorough analysis of one ballet. It's hard to think of many more. Mozartiana is a masterpiece. So is Mark Morris' L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, which is now, happily, the subject of a visually sumptuous and lucidly written examination. Even in their stillness, the images-by 17 photographers, including such well-known names as Martha Swope and Tom Brazil-convey a vivid sense of this full-evening production that premiered in Brussels in 1988. The three substantial essays-by Morris biographer Joan Acocella, author/editor Wendy Lesser, and British critic Alastair Macaulay-do the same. In a section called "The Making of L'Allegro," five dancers who were present at the creation, plus rehearsal pianist Linda Dowdell and Morris himself, weigh in on the creative process.
Boston Globe
Francis Mason
A guide that makes you want to see the dance over and over.
World of Dance
Out Magazine
A beautiful new photo book. . . includes essays by Joan Acocella, Alastair Macaulay, and Wendy Lesser that place this work in its historical and aesthetic contexts. Pictures from rehearsals and performances . . . document each of the piece's 32 movements.
Robert Gottlieb
An extraordinarily handsome new book… It's a thorough and valuable critique and appreciation of this glorious dance work…
New York Observer
Steven Watson
Possibly the most exhaustive examination of a single dance work ever published.
New York Times
Time Out New York
A stunner.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781569246313
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2001
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 10.34 (w) x 11.61 (h) x 0.79 (d)

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