Words On Dance: Live Conversations & Screenings
Mark Morris with Surupa Sen
Mark Morris was born on August 29, 1956, in Seattle, Washington, where he studied with Verla Flowers and Perry Brunson. In the early years of his career, he performed with the companies of Lar Lubovitch, Hannah Kahn, Laura Dean, Eliot Feld, and the Koleda Balkan Dance Ensemble.
He formed the Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG) in 1980 and has since created close to 150 works for the company.
From 1988 to 1991, he was Director of Dance at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, the national opera house of Belgium. In 1990, he founded the White Oak Dance Project with Mikhail Baryshnikov. Much in demand as a ballet choreographer, Morris has created nineteen ballets since 1986 and his work is in the repertory of companies worldwide.
Surupa Sen Artistic Director, choreographer at Nrityagram. Sen was the first student at Nrityagram Dance Village, training with the architect of Odissi, Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra. She studied with Protima Gauri, founder of Nrityagram, and Abhinaya with Smt. Kalanidhi Narayanan.
She participated in the International Choreographer’s Residency at the American Dance Festival in 2000. With Bijayini Satpathy she has expanded the vocabulary of Odissi dance. Her evening-length ensemble work for Nrityagram, Ansh (2004), toured in India, the Far East and the United States at the Joyce Theater. Saṃhära, Nrityagram’s first international collaboration with Sri Lanka’s Chitrasena Dance Company, was nominated for Outstand- ing Production & Outstanding Sound Design at the Bessie Awards 2012. In 2014, the US premiere of Surupa’s Songs of Love and Longing was presented at The Baryshnikov Art Center. Honors include the Raza Foundation Award, 2006, the Yagnaraman Award, from Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, 2008, and Nritya Choodamani from Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, 2011.
All photos: Mark Morris by Amber Star Merkens / Surupa Sen photos by Tanuj Ahuja