Pacific


Music: Lou Harrison (Piano Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano, 1990; 3rd & 4th movements)
Choreography: Mark Morris
Staging: Tina Fehlandt
Costume Design: Martin Pakledinaz
Lighting Design: James F. Ingalls
Duration: 19 minutes
Premiere: May 10, 1995; San Francisco Ballet (UNited We Dance Festival)
Pacific Northwest Ballet Premiere: April 5, 2007 (Celebrate Seattle Festival)

PNB Company dancers in Pacific. Photo © Angela Sterling

“Lou Harrison’s Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano provided the musical inspiration of the Morris commission for San Francisco Ballet's participation in the United We Dance Festival, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Charter in San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House. I saw it twice. ... it is translucent with references not only to the sea, but to the cultures residing on the shores against which the Pacific Ocean surges.” —Renee Renouf, ballet.co magazine
“Like the title of the dance, the work has multiple connotations, which are underscored by the costumes of Martin Pakledinaz. The bare-chested men wear culottes—full, skirt-like pants that suggest the native dress of Pacific Island and even Indian cultures; the women’s outfits have the same full skirts with simple tops. Blues and greens predominate, with red used for the central couple. The colors evoke the ocean as well as tropical climes. The movement Morris uses also incorporates suggestions of Asian cultures, particularly the Kathak style of southern India: the men (and later the women) repeat a gesture of one arm raised in a curve, the other pointing straight in the opposite direction with the head turned towards the pointing arm. ...This is a work that makes you think about its meaning.” —Larry Campbell, culturevulture.net

Pacific is the first work by Mark Morris to enter Pacific Northwest Ballet’s repertory.

Recommended Listening:
Harrison: Double Concerto, for violin, cello & Javanese gamelan; Piano Trio, for violin, cello & piano, Mirecourt Trio, Lou Harrison, et al., Music & Arts Program 1073

Recommended Reading:
Mark Morris, By Joan Acocella (Wesleyan, 2004)


Notes compiled by Doug Fullington.

Beginning Open Class is Cancelled Tonight (9/30/14)
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