October 31, 2018 – November 4, 2018
In this section:

In fall 2018 at The Harman Center for the Arts, The Washington Ballet showcased its range of abilities and depth of versatility in an extraordinary program that payed tribute to the 20th century’s most accomplished American modern choreographers. Contemporary Masters included iconic works by three of the greatest influencers of modern American dance, Mark Morris, Merce Cunningham, and Paul Taylor.

Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes

Choreography by Mark Morris
Music by Virgil Thomson, Etudes for Piano

…Morris is one of the most prolific and lauded choreographers or his generation.

Dance Magazine

Mark MorrisDrink To Me Only With Thine Eyes is a quirky, yet sophisticated and inventive ballet for 12 dancers set to an onstage piano score of 13 etudes by Virgil Thomson. The ballet, which was choreographed in 1988, is based on English poem written in 1616 that celebrates ethereal love. The New York Times states “…the witty dance cements Mr. Morris’s worth as a master choreographer in the classical form.”


Choreography by Merce Cunningham
Music by John Cage, Improvisation III

No modern dance choreographer has ever matched Cunningham when it came to the duet.

The New York Times

Merce Cunningham choreographed Duets in 1980 to an abstract electronic musical score composed by John Cage. With eight separate tracks that are controlled and improvised by audio engineers, each performance is unlike the last as the dancers work to connect to each other’s internal rhythms based on the mood and energy of the music, creating a new work of art every time it is performed.

Company B

Choreography by Paul Taylor
Music by the Andrews Sisters

…the last of the great choreographers.

The Nation

Company B harkens back to World War II and downplays the seriousness of America’s youth going off to war. The Andrews Sisters, who rose to fame as a singing sensation during World War II, provide the backdrop for Taylor’s playful choreography. There is a subtle wartime sadness that contrasts with the high spirit of the dancing that tells the story of the time in Company B.

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