Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, NY.
March 25, 2022.
Mark Morris choreographed L’Allegro il Penseroso ed il Moderato in 1988, in Brussels at age 32. Since then, it’s been carried out internationally many instances over. Lately, audiences gathered to view this revered work as soon as once more, this time at Brooklyn Academy of Music, the place it had its unique U.S. premiere.
One could be apt to explain this work as a masterpiece. As a first-time viewer, it felt prefer it may have been made in 1988, 10 years in the past or yesterday. The omnipresent humanity displayed all through all the practically two hours anchors it firmly within the house of timelessness.
Based mostly on John Milton’s yoked poems, L’Allegro and Il Penseroso (1645), and danced to the music of Handel (1740), the work spans the depth of human expertise with out feeling preachy. There may be gentle. There may be darkish. There may be in between.
Watching this piece now, at first of 12 months three of Covid and towards the backdrop of practically unimaginable international strife provides it a placing poignancy. The interconnectivity of us all, the duality of us all, the thrill we share and the struggles we endure – all woven collectively seamlessly, as if a dream.
To look at this work is sort of to lucid dream. Definitely, the viewers is conscious they’re sitting in a theater however earlier than lengthy discover transport to an ethereal house the place we don’t know precisely what we’re witnessing. However we do know what we really feel. We really feel the whole lot.
We really feel the agony of the pandemic. We really feel the enjoyment and awe on the resilience of neighborhood. We really feel disappointment and anger of conflict. We really feel hope of latest concepts, and of classes realized.
For artwork to affect audiences, all of the elements should be a part of one another. The lighting issues, the music issues, the set issues, the dancers matter – with equal weight. There have been no stars current, though the unity of the collaboration shone vivid.
Regardless of the well-woven efforts of all who make stay theater nice, this work got here from the thoughts of 1 man, and he actually reveled in his applause. As the luxurious crimson curtain descended, his imaginative and prescient transitioned from actuality to reminiscence – or dream – for these left standing and clapping.
By Emily Sarkissian of Dance Informa.