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Mark Morris Dance Group and Music Ensemble


Exploring and responding to music, seeking the composer’s inspiration through his infinitely fertile movement language is Mark Morris’ stock in trade. Krannert Center’s annual visit with the Mark Morris Dance Group and Music Ensemble opens with two light-hearted works to solo piano accompaniment: Candleflowerdance, set to Stravinsky’s Serenade in A and Excursions, set to Barber’s Excursions for Piano. The program also features Via Dolorosa, set to Nico Muhly’s meditative composition The Street for solo harp, inspired by the poetic texts of Alice Goodman. The evocative, multi-layered work premiered in the spring of 2024 and is performed against a striking sunset-like backdrop by Howard Hodgkin. “Morris puts his mastery of physical expression to purposes that are both narrative and spiritual” the San Francisco Chronicle’s Datebook says of Via Dolorosa. “[Goodman and Muhly] call it a meditation on the stations,” says Morris, “but with the text, the music, and my dance, it’s not just the Stations of the Cross. It’s the universal, incredible point of view from Alice’s amazing theology and poetry,” which is printed in the program but not heard during the performance). 


“The stations of the cross have typically been a subject for visual artists, and Morris’ treatment may be his most overtly painterly creation to date…. It's a beatific treatment of a religious narrative that doesn’t require actual faith from either its creators or its observers…you don’t have to be anything but human to feel the power of the piece’s final moments, when grief and suffering give way at last to airy leaps of grace.” (Datebook) 


Founded in New York City in 1980 by artistic director and choreographer Mark Morris, the Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG) has been called “the preeminent modern dance organization of our time” (Yo-Yo Ma), its members receiving “highest praise for their technical aplomb, their musicality, and their sheer human authenticity” (Bloomberg News). Live music and community engagement are vital components of the Dance Group, which has toured with its own musicians, the Music Ensemble, since 1996. The Dance Group provides educational opportunities in dance and music to people of all ages and abilities while on tour internationally and at home in the Mark Morris Dance Center in Brooklyn, New York. 



Via Dolorosa 

Patron Co-sponsors

  • Nancy & Edward Tepper

Event Details

Tryon Festival Theatre
Fr Feb 21, 2025 - 7:30pm CT
Sa Feb 22, 2025 - 3:00pm CT