ARTICLE: Choreographer Mark Morris interprets 50-year-old ‘Sgt. Pepper’s’ songs as dance

The San Diego Union-Tribune
Marcia Manna
May 10, 2018

Groundbreaking artists share common attributes, among them the courage to realize their creative vision and to tackle projects that have the potential to please, tease or provoke an audience.

Choreographer Mark Morris does all of that and more with “Pepperland,” an evening of dance that celebrates the 50th anniversary of the album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”

Presented by the La Jolla Music Society on Saturday at the Civic Theatre, the touring show marries two pioneering art forms: the movement style of Morris, a contemporary, world-renowned dancemaker, and the controversial and culturally relevant music written by The Beatles a half century ago.

“Pepperland” was commissioned last year by the City of Liverpool and showcases the Mark Morris Dance Group, a buoyant troupe of 15 who perform to an original score by Ethan Iverson.

Iverson, a New York-based jazz pianist (formerly with The Bad Plus), was musical director for Morris for five years in the 1990s and Morris chose him to compose his own original Sgt. Pepper-inspired works along with new arrangements of songs such as “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “Within You Without You” and “Penny Lane.”

Now hold on to your vintage vinyl, folks…