The last time the Mark Morris Dance Group performed at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall, the group had to cancel two of their three scheduled performances after some group members tested positive for COVID-19.
“That was very, very disheartening and very upsetting for everybody,” said Mark Morris, choreographer and artistic director for the group.
Though the news was difficult, it was in line with what many were experiencing at the time: plans and preparations torn asunder by the impact of a global pandemic.
Now, just over a year later, the group has returned to Zellerbach, but not everything else lost in that time has returned.
“It's also ghost towny here because it's still coronavirus, everybody,” Morris said. “So people are edgy and it's uncomfortable. And a lot of things have shut down and it's very difficult for everyone.”
The group is performing a three-night run of The Look of Love: An Evening of Dance to the Music of Burt Bacharach, which Morris choreographed in tribute to the famed composer.
Morris explained that the run would be longer, but the group is still conscious of COVID-19 and it hopes shorter runs can minimize risk.
Bacharach is considered by many to be one of the most influential composers of popular music in the 20th century, known widely for composing many iconic songs of the ’60s and ’70s, though he was still winning Grammy nominations as recently as last year.
Given the impressive career, including three Oscars and six Grammys, it was no surprise that Morris decided to arrange a show in tribute to Bacharach.
Bacharach saw a dress rehearsal of the show in October at the Broad Stage at Santa Monica College, where the group held their grand opening.