“Serenade,” “The ‘Tamil Film Songs in Stereo’ Pas de Deux,”
“O Rangasayee,” “Pure Dance Items”
Mark Morris Dance Group
Lincoln Center White Light Festival
Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College
New York, NY
November 5, 2016
by Martha Sherman
copyright © 2016 by Martha Sherman
Mark Morris’s love of Indian dance and music isn’t just a passing fad. In “Sounds of India,” his curated series for Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival, the broad sweep of his interests were offered for two weeks, then came to rest in his own work, with four Morris pieces influenced by India’s exotic sound and movement. Two of the works were created and first seen in the 1980s; two were made decades later – including the standout of the evening, “Pure Dance Items,” which had its world premiere at this series. The new works were more inflected by than immersed in Indian dance and music vocabulary, and both were, by far, the stronger pieces in the program. The early works, though, offered a quirky and illuminating lens into this important influence in Morris’s choreography.
Stacy Martorana, Domingo Estrada, Jr,. Billy Smith in “Pure Dance Items” Photo © Stephanie Berger.