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Wildly popular evening of dance with music of Burt Bacharach sets NY debut in Brooklyn at BAM

February 26, 2024 Special from Brooklyn Academy of Music
Mark Morris Dance Group, “The Look of Love.”Photo: Molly Bartels
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LAFAYETTE AVENUE — The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) will offer the New York premiere of a wildly popular collaboration of the dance of Mark Morris with the music of Burt Bacharach. Mark Morris teams up again with musical collaborator Ethan Iverson for “The Look of Love,” a wistful and heartfelt homage to the chart-topping songs of Burt Bacharach which premiered to acclaim in 2022 at the Kennedy Center.

Brooklyn residents will have about a month before the March 20 opening to get their tickets to this event.

The Look of Love dancers
Photo: Christopher Duggan

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A towering figure of popular music, Bacharach is known for his soaring melodies and unique orchestrations influenced by jazz, rock, and Brazilian music — his longtime lyricist Hal David provided unsentimental, poignant lyrics.

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With costume design by Isaac Mizrahi and lighting design by Nicole Pearce, these new musical arrangements by Iverson will be performed live by an ensemble comprised of piano, trumpet, bass, and percussion with singer, actress, and Broadway star Marcy Harriell on lead vocals.

Mark Morris.Photo: Beowulf Sheehan
Mark Morris.
Photo: Beowulf Sheehan

The internationally acclaimed Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG) has inspired critics and audiences throughout its 40-year history. Founded in New York in 1980 by artistic director and choreographer Mark Morris, the company has been called “the preeminent modern dance organization of our time” (Yo-Yo Ma), receiving “highest praise for their technical aplomb, their musicality, and their sheer human authenticity” (Bloomberg News). MMDG spent three years in residence at Brussels’ Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie as Belgium’s national dance company, returning to the US in 1991.

The group tours domestically and internationally, and is distinguished by presenting live music at every performance, founding the MMDG Music Ensemble in 1996. MMDG regularly collaborates with eminent musicians across genres, including cellist Yo-Yo Ma, mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe, jazz trio The Bad Plus, the London Symphony Orchestra, Baroque orchestras Tafelmusik and Philharmonia Baroque, as well as opera companies such as the Metropolitan Opera and English National Opera. In addition to many appearances at BAM, the Mark Morris Dance Group toured Cambodia, Timor Leste, and Taiwan in 2014 as part of DanceMotion USASM, a cultural diplomacy program of the US Department of State, produced by BAM.

The Look of Love dancers
Photo: Molly Bartels

Mark Morris, “the most successful and influential choreographer alive, and indisputably the most musical” (The New York Times), founded the Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG) in 1980. His work is acclaimed for its ingenuity, musicality, wit, and humanity. In addition to creating over 150 works for MMDG, he conducts orchestras, directs opera, and choreographs for ballet companies worldwide. Live music and community engagement are vital components of the Dance Group. It has toured with its own musicians, the MMDG Music Ensemble, since 1996. The Mark Morris Dance Center, opened in 2001, provides a home for the dance group, low-cost rental space for local artists, free programs for children and seniors, and dance classes for all ages and abilities.

Marcy Harriell.courtesy of Mark Morris Dance Group
Marcy Harriell.
courtesy of Mark Morris Dance Group

Marcy Harriell is a singer, actress, and designer. Her ability to passionately embrace diverse vocal styles has made her a standout in New York theater. She jumps easily among opera, rock, jazz, and R&B, and The New York Times has hailed her as a vocalist who “demolishes the furious torch song” with a “rafter rattling intensity.” Broadway star turns include Tony Award-winning musicals “In the Heights,” “Rent,” and her nightly showstopping performance in “Lennon.”

Throughout her career, she has had the honor to work with numerous industry legends: Stephen Sondheim, who guided her performance of Marta in Company at Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center; Athol Fugard, who directed her in the world premiere of his play “Sorrows & Rejoicings”; Jerome Robbins and Arthur Laurents, under whose supervision Harriell deepened the role of Maria in “West Side Story.” Lin-Manuel Miranda recruited her to record early demos for Disney’s “Moana,” tapping Harriell’s emotional interpretations for the soundtrack. Enamored by another interpretation, Quentin Tarantino wrote the role of “Marcy” for her in his film Death Proof and she plays Molly’s mother in the 2019 motion picture “Men in Black: International”.

Harriell, Morris and other
Photo courtesy of Mark Morris Dance Group

Harriell has been a series regular on NBC’s Ed; HBO’s “Nurse Jackie”; and CBS’ “Queens Supreme”; and has guest starred in “Mani­fest”, “NCIS”, “Law & Order”, and “Search Party”. Harriell is a regular with the tribute project Loser’s Lounge, created by Joe McGinty, and has performed at The Public Theater, City Winery, Lincoln Center and the Montclair Film Festival. When she’s not onstage, onscreen, or in-studio, Harriell takes a happy audience on a colorful ride alongside her husband Rob in the hit YouTube series @TheHandmadeHarriells, creating couture garments for everyday life.

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