A longtime fan favorite at the Hylton Center’s sister venue, the Center for the Arts at George Mason University, Mark Morris Dance Group and Music Ensemble will make its debut at the Hylton Center on February 11 with the company’s critically acclaimed tribute to the Beatles Pepperland.
Founded in 1980 by critically acclaimed choreographer Mark Morris, the Mark Morris Dance Group was joined by the Music Ensemble in 1996, forming a group that deserves the “highest praise for their technical aplomb, their musicality, and their sheer human authenticity” (Bloomberg News).
Mark Morris Dance Group and Music Ensemble’s Pepperland features choreography set to new arrangements of familiar songs from The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band as well as original music by former member of The Bad Plus, Ethan Iverson. “Half the piece is arrangements of the songs we all know,” Iverson states, “Half is brand new danceable pieces responding to the strong undercurrent of classical music present on the original album.” Getting connected with Mark Morris around 1995 as a rehearsal pianist, Iverson came to be Morris’ music director for over five years. He states in an interview with New Music USA, “This is when I really learned something about conventional European classical music. Mark Morris has an incandescent mind.”
The support that went into bringing Pepperland to the stage includes funding from more than 17 institutions. It features 15 dancers, seven live musicians, and is acclaimed for its inventive designers—ranging from costuming to lighting. Pepperland has been in development since before 2017, resulting in a “truly joyous, celebratory work of art…a brilliant homage to one of the great rock albums” (The Telegraph), which premiered at the City of Liverpool’s Sgt. Pepper at 50 Festival on May 25, 2017.
Learn more and get tickets for the much-anticipated cultural event, Mark Morris Dance Group and Music Ensemble’s Pepperland at the Hylton Performing Arts Center on February 11. In addition to their Hylton debut performance, Mark Morris Dance Group and Music Ensemble will be involved in the community.
On February 9 and 10, Brandon Cournay and Billy Smith, Mark Morris Dance Group and Music Ensemble members will lead two masterclasses with George Mason School of Dance students as well as a masterclass with students from Colgan High School’s Center for Fine and Performing Arts. They will also lead a Lecture Demonstration for the Lifelong Learning Institute of Manassas. Mark Morris Dance Group’s internationally acclaimed program Dance for Parkinson’s Disease (Dance for PD ®) will also offer a free class at the Hylton Performing Arts Center on February 10. Registration is required.