American Joy – The Ballets of Paul Taylor and Mark Morris


Day course

Bridgett Vane

7 April 2021


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The word joyous is not one that springs to mind when looking at some comtemporary dance, yet this word and many other similar adjectives – ‘sunny’, ‘lyrical’, ‘humourous’ – can all be used to describe the works of these two master dance makers: Americans Paul Taylor and Mark Morris. The two choreographers share a common thread in how they have absorbed in their art influences from many different styles of dance: contemporary, ballet, flamenco and folk. Both are inspired by wonderful music – from Baroque to Bach, Beethoven, Brahms and the Beatles. Paul Taylor (1930-2018) studied with many of the greats of 20th century dance: Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, José Limón, Merce Cunningham, Anthony Tudor and George Balanchine. Mark Morris (1956-) danced with several companies – many founded by ex-Tayor dancers – before setting up his own.

This presentation will showcase their work and feature particularly Taylor’s Brandenburgs (to music from Bach’s Brandenburg concertos 3 and 6) and Morris’ L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderator by George Fredrick Handel.

Tutor information

Bridgett Vane trained as a dancer and dance teacher. After running a dancing and theatrical retail business, she was press and marketing manager for Southampton’s Nuffield Theatre. A former dance adviser to Southern Arts Association, she was a founder of Southampton Dance Circle, and assisted in the running of the Southern Region of the Royal Academy of Dancing. Bridgett’s work is based on extensive up-to-the-minute research, combining her knowledge and engagement with ballet and dance with a passion for history.