IMPRESSIONS (before the show): John Mark Owen's "Requiem"

IMPRESSIONS (before the show): John Mark Owen's "Requiem"
Pascal Rekoert

By Pascal Rekoert
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Published on September 13, 2012

IMPRESSIONS: John-Mark Owen presents Requiem at Manhattan Movement and Arts Center

Thursday Sept 13th- Saturday September 15th at 8pm for tickets click here
September 13th, 2012

Pascal Rekoert for The Dance Enthusiast

John-Mark Owen sets a new tone for contemporary ballet in his first full evening production, Requiem,which opens this weekend at Manhattan Movement and Arts Center. In this work, Owen addresses Carl Jung’s archetypes, investigating the numerous shades of grey within these images. He also explores prospective ways to break free fromsocietal pigeonholes, hopefully prompting the audience toward self-reflection. One particular “shade” Owen is interested in is homosexuality, and how it fits into the understanding of hetero-normative stereotypes.

Requiem by John Mark Owen; Photo by Kokyat

His ballet explores thearchetypal figures of the Hero, the Mother, and the Shadow, which are all performed by soloists. The corps de ballet strongly resembles a Greek chorus and perpetuates the story line. Noteworthy cast members are the natural actors JoVonna Parks and the Alfredo Solivan, who both emote with passion. Unisons, canons and unorthodox partnering are prevalent and several tableaus arise which create the illusion of a moving painting. The most gripping moments are created in gestural scenes that offer a breath of fresh air to Owen’s dense balletic vocabulary. Although the costuming is contemporary, the saga of heroes and sinners is timeless.
Requiem by John Mark Owen; Photo by Thomas Palmer

Owen was introduced to Mozart’s Requiem while studying at NYU Tisch five years ago. He deepened his passion to classical music as he investigated the history and musical structure of Mozart’s final masterpiece, created just before the died at age 35.The music most certainly adds a cinematic and monumental feel to the evening.


John-Mark Owen is a daring choreographer who we shall enjoy watching mature. He has zealously taken on a mammoth endeavor. Requiem is a project that will surely contribute to his artistic growth, and more importantly encourage further exploration of his unique voice.

Requiem by John Mark Owen; Photo by Kokyat


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