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The Mark Morris Dance Group Brings The Look of Love to the TPAC

by Rich and Laura Lynch

The Mark Morris Dance Group stepped onto the TPAC stage for a two-day run in Nashville, Tennessee June 28th and 29th, 2024. On this particular outing the troupe based out of New York were presenting The Look of Love – An Evening of Dance to the Music of Burt Bacharach.

Burt Bacharach (1928 – 2023) was a composer, pianist, record producer and songwriter who wrote over 50 US Top 40 hits many in collaboration with lyricist Hal David. Bacharach's music featured unusual chord progressions and time signatures reflecting his background in jazz. Burt arranged, conducted, and produced much of his recorded output including the chart-topping "Alfie", "What the World Needs Now", "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head", "I Say a Little Prayer" and more.

Following the success of his Beatles tribute, Pepperland, Mark Morris teamed up with musical collaborator Ethan Iverson to pay tribute to Mr. Bacharach. The set-up at the TPAC was simple yet covered all the bases with an assemble consisting of bass, drums, piano, trumpet and vocalists. Behind the stage was a screen that changed colors but not a lot of visuals as the focus was on the dancers who used simple props paired with their graceful moves to convey the sentiments of the songs presented during the program.

The troupe wore pastel colors in costumes that reflected the 1960's. As the lights dimmed, a pretty piano prelude introduced "Alfie" followed by a winning "What the World Needs Now". In many cases the dancers acted out the words of the songs while whirling around each other and the whole stage.

During "Walk on By" the performers combined sway with walking patterns. They closed with the namesake of the production featuring fluid expressions of love through movement and "I Say a Little Prayer". All this was topped off by Broadway star Marcy Harriell singing these classics to an appreciative audience.

Thank you to the TPAC for showcasing the Mark Morris Dance Group. Since 1980, the TPAC has presented a wide spectrum of live performances. The TPAC gives back to the community with classroom residencies, enrichment programs, teacher resources and more. Please check out their website for upcoming events and note that July 02-28, 2024, Cirque du Soleil's Songblazers will premiere at the TPAC.

Songblazers – A Journey into Country Music is a theatrical presentation honoring legendary and modern-day trailblazers. The tale will be told through acrobatics and music thus blending mesmerizing movement with the soul-stirring muse that the country category is so well-known for.

Related Links: For more information on the MARK MORRIS DANCE GROUP and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - Mark Morris Dance Group | TPAC


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