Of any choreographer working today, the American Mark Morris is most often cited for emphasis on musical values and standing within the music profession. His work also raises fundamental questions about how music informs our understanding of dance and about the interaction between seeing and hearing. This book is the first detailed study of Morris’s use of music, revealing an unmatched range of approaches to music and strategies for making us hear musical scores in new ways. It also has impact well beyond his work, in outlining a ‘choreomusical’ (audio-visual) framework for discussion that, for the first time, introduces ideas from cognitive science.
Divided into three parts, the book opens with a discussion of the context of Morris’s work as a musical journey across his career and in relation to earlier choreomusical theories and processes. After proposals as to how to watch and listen to dance, Morris’s output is discussed within three periods: 1980-88 (the early years of his dance company), 1988-91 (when he was resident in Brussels), and 1992-2014. The choreographer’s own voice is heard regularly throughout the book, and analyses of his dances are brilliantly illustrated by a ground-breaking website of film clips generously hosted by the Mark Morris Dance Group.
The author, Stephanie Jordan is a Research Professor in Dance at Roehampton University, London. She trained both academically and professionally as a dancer and musician, and is known internationally as a writer and conference presenter on dance. Her books include Striding Out: Aspects of Contemporary and New Dance in Britain (1992), Moving Music: Dialogues with Music in Twentieth Century Ballet (2000), and Stravinsky Dances: Re-Visions across a Century (2007), all published by Dance Books..