Reviewed by Nikki Cotter
Opening Night verdict ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
First performed in Liverpool in 2017 to mark the city’s Sgt. Pepper at 50 Festival, Mark Morris’ unique tribute to the iconic album is a joyful explosion of music and movement painted with the most vibrant of colour pallets.
Referencing several of Sgt. Peppers most memorable songs as well as the exuberant Penny Lane, Pepperland is an uplifting celebration with its airy choreography & clever interpretations.
Ethan Iverson’s bold score reimagines each of the much-loved songs; the rich sounds of the piano are accompanied by the electronica of the theremin which marries beautifully with Morris’ playful choreography.
Elizabeth Kutzman’s swinging sixties inspired costumes offer a rainbow of Carnaby St inspired colour while the 17 dancers navigate their way through joyous jives to dreamy hippy vibes. The mood is playful, fun and free.
While there are some pieces which are fairly abstract it’s those with live vocals from Clinton Curtis which really engage the audience. The wit of Morris’ choreography during When I’m 64 clearly an audience favourite as the dancers interpret the out of kilter music with comedic consequence.
Morris’ decision to have his dancers stand and sing along to A Day in the Life is particularly striking with just the right amount of nostalgia.
At just over an hour long Pepperland is the perfect show to bring Sgt. Pepper to vibrant life for modern dance audiences. The fluidity of the choreography a fine example of the quality of Mark Morris’s innovative work while the precision of his dancers will inspire and enthral.
On at the Lowry until Saturday 30th March tickets available here.