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Tag: mark Morris dance

Mark Morris Dance ‘PEPPERLAND’ Review At The Lowry

Mark Morris Dance ‘PEPPERLAND’ Review At The Lowry

PEPPERLAND first premiered in 2017, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club album. Since then, the show has seen great success, prompting a nationwide tour.

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Usually with a dance piece, the choreography follows some sort plot or story, and the moves help to reflect and convey the emotions within that. Pepperland, however, doesn’t really follow that familiar structure. It’s inspiration is drawn directly from the songs off the iconic Beatles album; Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. So rather than a traditional beginning, middle and end, you’re thrust right into the height of the action, no ebbs and flows here!

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Mark Morris’s choreography is light, springy, and not over complicated however repetitve phrasing execucted in numerous canons, being danced in mulitple directions, not only creates interesting patterns visually, but will have taken many hours in rehearsals to make precise. There are definite nods to the great Bob Fosse, who was a prolific choreographer of the time the album was released, his unique style instantly recognisable. There is a definite carefree feel within the dancing, and at times, reminiscent of a toddler dancing, with wild arm movements and bold shapes, ploughing in head first. If you have children, or are often around children, you’ll know what i mean. When a toddler dances, the music takes over them. They care not about what people think or whether they are moving rhythmicly, only about expressing what is within.

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The costumes, by Elizabeth Kurtzman represent the era of the album perfectly, without being too distracting. Well tailored jackets and trousers, turtle necks, waistcoats, pinafore dresses and duster coats are all present, but surprisingly, still give the dancers freedom of movement and full range of motion. The colours are a neon rainbow of colour blocking heaven, a live pop art visual!

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With the music being such an integral part of the production, it’s only fitting that a live band play the accompaniment. The score includes well known hits such as Get By With A Little Help from My Friends, When Im Sixty Four and Penny Lane, with a new, almost jazz feel to the reworks.

PEPPERLAND perfectly encapsulates the era of the 60’s with it’s light hearted,spirited and vibrant homage to the wonderful music of The Beatles. The Lowry creates the perfect backdrop for this production, with it’s modern and minimalistic decor and eaqually vibrant colours.

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Hosted by Dance Consortuim (a collection of theatres across the UK who share a passion of contemporary dance and bringing it to the masses) Pepperland continues it’s tour to Bradford, Edinburgh, Canterbury, Cardiff, Plymouth, Southampton, Norwich, Newcastle and finally Belfast. All dates, locations and ticket information can be found on their website https://www.danceconsortium.com/touring/mark-morris-pepperland/tour-dates-and-venues/

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