The Mark Morris Dance Group was formed in 1980 and gave its first concert that year in New York City. The company’s touring schedule steadily expanded and in 1986 it made its first national television program for the PBS series Dance in America. In 1988, MMDG was invited to become the national dance company of Belgium, and spent three years in residence at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels. The company returned to the United States in 1991 as one of the world’s leading dance companies, performing the works of choreographer Mark Morris across the United States and at major international festivals.
In September of 2001, the Mark Morris Dance Center opened in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, NY, to provide a home for the company, rehearsal space for the dance community, outreach programs for local children,and a school offering dance classes to students of all ages.
MMDG is noted for its commitment to live music, a feature of every performance on its international touring schedule since 1996. MMDG collaborates with leading orchestras, opera companies and musicians including cellist Yo-Yo Ma. MMDG’s film and television projects also include Dido and Aeneas, The Hard Nut, two documentaries for the U.K.’s South Bank Show, and PBS’ Live From Lincoln Center.
Programs for Seniors
Dance classes for older adults include Restorative Movement, which utilizes gentle movement to explore and increase range of motion, and Dance for PD, a program for people with Parkinson's disease.
In addition to its classes for adults, the School at the Mark Morris Dance Center offers classes for ages 4 through teens. Classes include creative dance, ballet, modern dance, jazz/hip-hop, tap dance, music and singing and monthly workshops. Visit http://markmorrisdancegroup.org/the_school/ for more information on class times and levels.
The nine-day summer workshop for children ages 6-8 provides an opportunity for students to continue their training in the fundamentals of dance movement with a focus on technique, musicality and strength. Students study in a concentrated daily format and experience a variety of dance disciplines including ballet, modern, jazz and tap with the faculty at the School at the Mark Morris Dance Center. Most classes include live musical accompaniment. The workshop concludes with a studio showing that family and friends are invited to attend. No dance experience is required, although one year of dance experience is recommended. Registration opens March 1, 2011. Visit mmdg.org/kidssummer11 for more information. The workshop is $350; $325 if registered before May 6.
MMDG offers a range of outreach programs including Dance for Parkinson's Disease, a partnership with the New York City Housing Authority and the Mark Morris Dance, Music and Literacy Project in Brooklyn public schools. For more information on these programs and more visit the website at http://markmorrisdancegroup.org/the_dance_center/outreach or call the Dance Center at (718) 624-8400.