Letters From the Editor

Zero to Sixty Thousand

How many moves can a dancer pack in one phrase? Then repeat, change, jostle, repeat? Flipper-y hand movements and shake-waddle-waddle? All set to live Schumann (Schumann! I adulate!) in silly costumes, followed by Vivaldi, with hula-girl waving thrown in? Warning: This is a rave. I've never seen the Mark Morris Dance Group before, then my wife scores great gala-night seats for the beginning of BAM's "Month of Mark" to celebrate the company's 25th anniversary. Excerpting an email to a friend just before I leave my apartment: "Putting the suit on for Mark Morris, hope it's good." And was it good--it was good, it was terrific, it was very completely moving and I was shaken. Measuring the speed of fandom, I've gone from zero to 60,000 in one evening. What other companies in the peerdom (besides the all-wonderful Ailey) showcase dancers so eclectic? One was the shape of a small bear. Another had pooch. But in grace and attention to the live music (live music! I'm ruined; thanks to Mark, jerk, contemporary dance to canned Nature Company CDs will never be the same) and for matching instinct to Morris's brainy patterns, the dancers were remarkable, unified, breathtaking--any word to convey the opposite of dry, stiff, pompous. (OK, one or two in the pack weren't enormously good, but how's that different from any other company?) So, a rave. See them. And then see about some free drinks; the nice thing about connections is you get to attend the after-party. I spotted Isaac Mizrahi, then I felt weird about recognizing him without knowing what he does exactly. Not a short man, Mizrahi, nor casual about his hair. And when Annie Leibowitz wants a drink, she doesn't screw around--the crowd around the bar was eight people deep, but Leibowitz charged in, shouldering them aside, never apologizing. That's the way to do it, though rumor has it she's bizonkers.

Rosecrans Baldwin co-founded TMN with publisher Andrew Womack in 1999. His latest book is Everything Now: Lessons From the City-State of Los Angeles. More information can be found at rosecransbaldwin.com. More by Rosecrans Baldwin

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