The Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG) will present the world premiere of an evening of dance to the music of Burt Bacharach – The Look of Love –featuring original choreography by Mark Morris and new musical arrangements by Ethan Iverson. The evening-length compilation of more than a dozen Bacharach hits, will be performed by company dancers accompanied by the MMDG Music Ensemble, consisting of piano, trumpet, bass and percussion, with lead vocals by singer, actress and Broadway star Marcy Harriell.
The Look of Love will be the 10th evening-length work of the prolific Morris’s career, following 2017’s Pepperland,which showcased the work of musical legends, The Beatles. This production is Morris’s first created to the music of Burt Bacharach, and will include 14 songs by the multi-Grammy-award winning pop composer and songwriter: “There’s Always Something There to Remind Me,” “Message to Michael,” “Anyone Who Had A Heart,” “Walk on By,” “Are You There (With Another Girl),” “I Say A Little Prayer,” “Do You Know the Way to San Jose,” “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again,” “What the World Needs Now Is Love,” “Don’t Make Me Over,” “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” “Alfie,” “The Look of Love,” and “The Blob.”
“Always engaging melodically, always surprising rhythmically, with a touch of melancholy and a striving hope, Bacharach’s marvelous music calls out for dancing,” says Morris. “There is a rich range of emotion, point of view and dynamics in Bacharach’s (and lyricist Hal David’s) amazing compositions, both the very familiar and the relatively obscure. The Look of Love will be an action-packed, varied, song and dance show, with something for everyone…a moving return to live theater.”
In addition to Bacharach and Iverson, Morris’s creative team for The Look of Love includes other frequent collaborators: designer Isaac Mizrahi and lighting designer Nicole Pearce.
“For many years, I’ve wanted to see my music reimagined in some kind of theatrical production – not just a jukebox musical formula of songs, but an original work with its own story and appeal,” says Bacharach. “I’ve found an ideal collaborator in Mark Morris, whose brilliant choreography and deep musicality give songs new meaning and dimension through movement. Like a great melody, his dances evoke an atmosphere and inspire feelings, and I think that’s just what the world needs now. I’m excited to see how Morris and his creative team bring my songs to the stage in The Look of Love.”
The Look of Love is a production of 13 organizations that form a growing group of commissioning partners united by their esteem for Morris and a desire to support the continued creation and performance of his work: BroadStage, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), and The Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center at Auburn University in association with Arizona Arts Live, University of Arizona; Cal Performances, UC Berkeley; The Grange Festival; Harriman-Jewell Series; Hopkins Center for the Arts, Dartmouth College; The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Modlin Center for the Arts at University of Richmond; UC Santa Barbara Arts & Lectures; and Virginia Arts Festival. This co-commissioning model enables entities of various sizes and scope to collectively provide the financial resources necessary to bring large-scale productions to the stage, while partnering with a prestigious cohort of presenting institutions and sharing in the legacy of a Morris world premiere.
“As we make a bold return to creating and touring new dances, we are especially grateful to our commissioning partners whose commitment to Mark’s work makes this collaboration possible,” says MMDG Executive Director Nancy Umanoff.
The Look of Love will have its world premiere on Friday, October 20, at BroadStage in Santa Monica, CA, with subsequent performances to follow at leading performing arts centers worldwide. The premiere of The Look of Love will also launch MMDG’s 2022-23 Season.
For more information, visit www.thelookoflove.dance.