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A Play on Words - Mark Morris Dance Group in Easton, PA
Mark Morris Dance Group
September 16th, 2015
The Mark Morris Dance Group recently graced the stage of the Williams Center for the Arts while visiting Lafayette College which is located in Easton, PA.
The opening piece, Words, brought exhilaration, excitement, and a sense of wonder to the atmosphere. The piece began with various dancers being pulled on to the stage by a large gray piece of fabric, which was carried across the stage by two other dancers. This intermittent and interwoven use of a prop to control the entrances and the exits of the dancers caused many of the audience members to be held captivated in their seats. The lights used in this piece where a bright shade of green, which balanced off the maroon, purple, and yellow colors found in the dancer's clothes of shirts and shorts. The simplicity of the costumes enabled the movement in this piece to be seen with clarity. The first section of this piece included dancers utilizing movement that involved continuous circularity, even in moments where they were not actually turning. The music for this work was wholeheartedly emphasized by having the pianist and violinist present on stage with the performers. The visualization of seeing the music being played added to the growing athleticism and emotion portrayed by the dancers in series of movement that were precise, angular, and held at specific notes of the music. With both the music and circular movement being established, the overall theme of this work became very clear. As different dancers were brought on and off the stage, the stories or sentiments evoked by each set of dancers, whether it be a romantic couple, a group of women, or men dueling against each other, portrayed the ultimate message that movement says what words cannot. When the one couple was dancing together, each took a moment to reach away from one another to then reach towards each other, as if to say, "I love you more," whereas the section dealing with two men dueling, the words being expressed thus relayed: "I have power over you." The importance of this work is to show how words can make or break relationships, lives, goals, dreams and careers by simply being unthoughtfully or unrightly spoken, though in some cases the words we sometimes choose can build up or create something beautiful. The intertwinement of the dancer’s roles and relationships in this piece reveals this knowledge that words hold an irreplaceable and invaluable meaning, regardless if the right or wrong words are spoken. In the end, the words we speak can label who we are individually as a person, and it is our use of these words in our relationships with others that can ultimately change the outcome of our own lives and define our happiness.