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Mark Morris Paperback – April 30, 1995


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 306 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (April 30, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374524181
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374524180
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #373,998 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This book is the first to seriously take stock of Morris, who is widely considered to be the leading modern dance choreographer of his generation. Born in Seattle, Wash., in 1956, Morris lived there, in the author's view, as a more or less contented iconoclast before heading for New York City in 1976 and dancing with several companies, then starting the Mark Morris Dance Group in 1980. Acocella devotes chapters to the preoccupations of his work, its themes (e.g., "irony and sincerity") and fundamental character, and others to the character of the choreographer himself as seen in the context of his career. One of the most absorbing chapters is largely narrative--"Brussels," telling of Morris's ("Mr. Outrageous") difficult years from 1988 to 1991 in conservative Belgium, where he was splendidly set up in the Theatre Royal de la Monnaie as dance director. But Acocella is also an acute observer of the dances themselves, and goes beyond them to venture general thoughts on dancing that linger in the mind ("What makes most classical art interesting is not an achieved balance but a struggle for balance"). Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

Choreographer Mark Morris always elicits extreme reactions in audiences--but even those who hate, or are baffled by, his work can't deny that he's one of the most important creative figures in dance. Acocella (dance critic for New York's Daily News) has long championed Morris: here, by chronicling his early life and examining his works, she presents an extraordinary primer not only on how a choreographer develops but also on what dance can mean-- and how it works. She also presents an infinitely more human, appealing Morris than is usually portrayed. Acocella has interviewed Morris, as well as his family, friends, dancers--and critics--at length. She describes the choreographer's Seattle childhood: a loving family; excellent early dance training; intense involvement in an extraordinary folk dancing group (Koleda). The author makes clear that the genius was always in Morris--and that, happily, he grew up in an environment in which it flourished. Through Acocella's examination of how Morris uses music and narrative line, and of the critical reaction (often violent) to him, we learn an immense amount--and not just about Morris. Readers will have their eyes opened by Acocella's jargon-free analysis--of how inner conflict, for instance, can fuel choreographic development: ``Many first-class choreographers begin as superb dancers....But in certain respects this is an unlucky combination...the dancer-choreographer is likely to choose choreography over his or her dance, and then to resent the company....'' Acocella looks at length at Morris's trial by fire in 1988 as the choreographer in residence at Belgium's state opera house; what comes across strongly is the dancer's unwavering focus on his work. Acocella does both Morris and dance a great service here. By throwing a clear light on both the man and his gift, she endears Morris to us, allows us to respect him more, and gives us a greater understanding of both him and his art. (Forty-plus photos--not seen) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book was fascinating! Mark Morris' work is brilliant, beautiful and new. This book offers insight into the artist's childhood and early introduction to the arts, traces the evolution of his company from its humble and informal beginnings to its present place as one of the outstanding modern companies in the world, and explores the themes Morris' work so often addresses. The insight into his complex character makes watching his work still more rewarding. Includes many great photos.
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By Jody D. on December 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great for my Mark Morris research. A must have for the 21st century modern dance enthusiast. It is very detailed.
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By Jeanette Geslison on September 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In depth researched and exquisitely well written autobiography.
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