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Modern dance work in two acts with choreography by Mark Morris, music by Handel, set by Adrianne Lobel, costumes by Christine Van Loon, and lighting by James F. Ingalls. Premiered 23 Nov. 1988 by the Mark Morris Dance Group at the Théâtre de la Monnaie, Brussels. Morris's setting of Handel's dramatic oratorio is ranked as one of his finest, most ambitious works. Structurally it follows Charles Jennens's text (based on Milton) and Handel's score in its alternation of sanguine and melancholic viewpoints. Visually it also draws on Blake's series of watercolour illustrations of Milton's poems. The movement contrasts pale, exquisite images of melancholy with extrovert, earthy humour, conjuring up a classical, pastoral world of goddesses, shepherds, artists, men, and beasts and concluding with a rousingly utopian vision of harmony.

Subjects: Dance.


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