Mark Morris Dance Group: L’Allegro

Three Excerpts

Here are excerpts from Mark Morris’s signature, evening-length work, L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, filmed at his group’s engagement at the Teatro Real in Madrid, Spain, in July 2014. The three sections are Populous Cities from Act II; The Hunt, a playful scene from Act I; and the joyful finale. The music is by George Frideric Handel, with poetry by John Milton.

Here’s what America’s top dance critics said about each section of Morris’s acclaimed dance.

Populous Cities

“The ‘Populous Cities please us then’ vignette is a cityscape as hectic as Wall Street on a Monday morning.” — Christine Temin in the Boston Globe

The Hunt

“In the most obvious tour de force of the piece, Morris builds from Milton’s four-line ‘hounds and horn’ suggestion a swiftly traveling narrative hunt scene in which the dancer depict—with whimsy, hilarity, and tremendous poignancy—every last obligatory element.” — Tobi Tobias in New York magazine

The Finale‘s formation of three concentric circles

“In its fusion of geometry and dynamism, it is the embodiment of Milton’s and Handel’s and Morris’ meaning: the coming together of the two poles of the mind—reason and energy, contemplation and enjoyment, Apollo and Dionysus, seeing and being, Penseroso and Allegro.” — Joan Acocella in Ballet Review