Mark Morris Dance Group Presents LOOK OF LOVE Review — Exploring Hues of the Bacharach Palette

Editor's Note: Read the related story--

Mark Morris Talks about LOOK OF LOVE — Interview

As chanteuse Marcy Harriell and her backup singers (Clinton Curtis and Blaire Reinhard) sang Walk on By, the Mark Morris Dance Group ensemble didn’t need the few chairs and pillows that were their props with morphing purpose in the rest of the evening performances.  Instead, for most of this dance, the troupe does exactly as Hal David’s lyrics suggest.  They just —-walk on by.  

Who would have thought that fast walking dancers in lines doing quick direction changes would engage us?  Mark Morris did.  He is right. 

Mark Morris Dance Group Moves to the Lyrics

Throughout the performances, we get to feel Hal David’s lyrics as Morris weaves in gestures, and sometimes even pantomime, of the songs’ stories.  Pillows become umbrellas as the dancers hop on imagined puddles while the performers sing Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head.  The Message to Michael gets lip synched.  Hands reach to the heavens as if to mirror the words I Say a Little Prayer,each time that refrain is sung.  In this way, dancing to more than a dozen Bacharach songs, the able troupe and Morris' choreography give each song a distinct signature.  

For audience members of a certain age, Harriell is ever wrestling with ingrained memories of Dionne Warwick's inimitable voice hardwired into our heads.  In this reviewer’s opinion, Harriell holds her own in this somewhat Sisyphean task.  Brava!

Like the troupe’s costumes made in a rainbow of sherbert colors, we are reminded by the dozen plus songs that the trademark Burt Bacharach sound inhabits a  distinctly sweet color palette.  You don’t see raging reds here or even bright jewel colors.  Even when a Bacharach song is about hurt and heartbreak, it never seems to leave the universe of tender.  Nor does Mark Morris’ choreography go in strident directions. Rather, each dance makes a unique gentle foray into one or another  rounded corner you can discover in the Bacharach color wheel.  

If much modern choreography is akin to abstract painting, The Look of Love  is more like portraiture.  It’s a light meal that more than satisfies.


Photos courtesy of Mark Morris Dance Company, by David Bazemore, Molly Bartels, Christopher Duggan and Skye Schmidt.


March 21 - 23, 2024 at 8 PM



Brooklyn Academy of Music
30 Lafayette Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11217



For more information and tickets visit the Brooklyn Academy of Music website.

Choreography by Mark Morris.

Lyrics by Hal David and Mack David
Arranged by Ethan Iverson
Costume and production design by Isaac Mizrahi
Lighting design by Nicole Pearce

Editor's Note: Read the related story--

Mark Morris Talks about LOOK OF LOVE — Interview

Read more Picture This Post stories about the Mark Morris Dance Company.


Find more Picture This Post dance reviews in the latest roundup — CHOREOGRAPHERS WE LOVE. Also, watch a short preview video here —

Amy Munice

About the Author: Amy Munice

Amy Munice is Editor-in-Chief and Co-Publisher of Picture This Post. She covers books, dance, film, theater, music, museums and travel. Prior to founding Picture This Post, Amy was a freelance writer and global PR specialist for decades—writing and ghostwriting thousands of articles and promotional communications on a wide range of technical and not-so-technical topics.

Amy hopes the magazine’s click-a-picture-to-read-a-vivid-account format will nourish those ever hunting for under-discovered cultural treasures. She especially loves writing articles about travel finds, showcasing works by cultural warriors of a progressive bent, and shining a light on bold, creative strokes by fledgling artists in all genres.


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