To make a dance to some of Handel’s “Water Music” and title it simply just “Water” is just the sort of joke you would be expecting from Mark Morris. So is staging that work in Brooklyn Bridge Park with New York Harbor as the backdrop, placing “Water” proper up versus the h2o.
The title will help set the tone: a very little impudent in its unfussy basic-spokenness. And regardless of the downsides of the site — a concrete promenade for a phase, which forced the dancers to protect their normally bare ft with sneakers, and recorded songs (a unusual concession for this troupe) — that tone is portion of what made the work notably suited for a no cost, outside display.
For 45 minutes on Saturday, the neighborly Mark Morris Dance Group introduced high-class choreography on a wonderful day to people who sat on the sloping grass, passed by with strollers and animals or merely soaked up the sunshine, like the gentleman carrying nothing but what could be explained as a codpiece.
“Water,” which closed the method, is shorter, about 10 minutes lengthy. Tape outlines a quadrangle on the flooring and the complete company walks that perimeter, framing partners who choose turns in lyric flights via the heart, a person dancer frequently carrying one more who is upside down. As diverse groupings of dancers arrive and go, marking the hornpipe music with some maritime motions, rumpling Baroque grace with hip bumps and air kisses, other dancers go in entrance or guiding. It is a pleasant, teeming environment that leaves you wanting additional.
This was preceded by a Samuel Beckett play. In 2019, Morris was invited to stage a few Beckett operates for Satisfied Days: Enniskillen Intercontinental Beckett Pageant in Northern Ireland. On Saturday, Morris’s organization provided the United States premiere of his staging of “Quad,” a wordless television engage in that Beckett wrote in 1981.
As its a person-word title implies, “Quad” is also organized by quadrangle. A figure in a hooded gown stalks the perimeter and cuts across the diagonal. When another hooded figure joins in — and a third and a fourth — they have to dodge one particular another in the centre.
That swerve is a twist as normal of Beckett as it is of Morris. The addition and later subtraction of performers is a taking part in out of permutations as soon as you determine out the pattern, you begin pondering when it’s heading to stop.
But in Beckett’s recommendations, as in the unique German production, the crossing performers steer clear of a smaller square location in the center, an absurdist hole. In Morris’s model, the dancers really don’t keep away from a charged space they sidestep a collision. It’s a social act, civil choreography.
And the place in the original output the cowled figures scuttled by their ritual rapidly, like rats in a maze, Morris’s performers stroll on a conquer presented by other members of the team, who bang drums, pans and a propane tank. With out diverging from the metronomic pacing, the swerve places a minimal skip in amongst measures, a elevate that is like a larger be aware. Morris turns Beckett’s dim slapstick into a sort of folk dance.
There’s an facet of people dance in most of what this company does. That consists of the opener of this method, which is set to some of Mendelssohn’s “Songs Without Words” and is titled, of course, just “Words.”
For “Words,” the songs was reside, performed on keyboard by the at any time-exceptional Colin Fowler. Its use of place — dancers showing up for just a instant on the edge of the dancing spot — marks the 2014 do the job as evidently one conceived for the proscenium stage. In this article, the only wings have been individuals of gulls.
A phase is where these dancers belong, and here’s hoping they can return inside of shortly. But at Brooklyn Bridge Park, exactly where some of their large-armed gestures inadvertently mirrored Woman Liberty’s pose driving them, they weren’t at all out of spot.
The system will be recurring at Queens Botanical Backyard on Oct. 3.