A Master Returns

Miami has a lot of catching up to do. It’s been 15 years since the Mark Morris Dance Group appeared here. That’s a whole half-life for this esteemed company, which celebrates 30 seasons this year. With more than 150 works to his credit, artistic director/choreographer Mark Morris is a bad boy turned contemporary dance institution. But he still has a wicked sense of humor (his version of The Nutcracker is called The Hard Nut) and a seemingly limitless capacity to surprise (his Romeo and Juliet has a happy ending). He also has a troupe of some of the most breathtaking dancers in the world, each one capable of executing his whims, from a classical arabesque to a postmodern smack to the face. And perhaps most remarkable, in these tough times for dance, Morris has an ensemble of musicians. The choreographer is famous for creating movement that seems to channel music, and MMDG has performed exclusively with live music since 1996. MMDG returns to Miami with three pieces created in the past decade. One is the solemn “All Fours.” Another is “Festival Dance,” a sprightly premiere from earlier this year. And finally there’s the masterwork “V,” where two groups of seven dancers fall in and out of V patterns like birds in flight. The dancing begins at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Arsht Center’s Ziff Ballet Opera House.
Fri., Oct. 14, 8 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 15, 8 p.m., 2011
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Celeste Fraser Delgado for artburstmiami.com