Mark Morris Dance Group: L’Allegro

“The Ladies’ Dance” Excerpt

In this section called “The Ladies Dance” in choreographer Mark Morris’s signature work L’Allegro, Il Penseroso ed il Moderato, 12 women dance to an air for soprano representing a character “L’Allegro,” a joyful person. The music is by Handel, with a libretto based on the poetry of John Milton.

“He arranges 12 women in a braided wreath and has them dance in and out among one another. The wreath winds and turns, twists and untwists — this is the ‘wanton heed,’ the ‘giddy cunning’ — but always with the simple, rational circle (the ‘hidden soul of harmony’) at its center.” — Joan Acocella, describing this section of the dance in her biography, Mark Morris.