Rhymes with Silver
was performed with original music by Lou Harrison, as part of a series of productions with the cellist Yo Yo Ma and was so-called, rather in jest, because there are no words which rhyme with silver. The present lot reveals Hodgkin’s strikingly simple design for the backdrop: the red and lime green waves, stacked, slightly overlapping, one upon the next. Intense colour is the overpowering impact and this can also be identified as the theme of the piece which celebrates the diversity of dance traditions. Starting with delicate Indian hand movements, a spectrum of styles unfold, from martial arts to dervish whirling, via old European court and Balkan folk dance. There are two possible interpretations of Rhymes with Silver
. One is that Mark Morris simply intends to display the variety of dance and movement expressions. But within or besides this, he may also have a message about human similarity across cultures, and the co-existence of these cultures. Then, this dance becomes Morris's Utopia, where the world's traditions harmoniously unfold together. Hodgkin’s backdrop changed dramatically under different lighting conditions, creating a variable environment which altered in harmony with the dance styles.
Rhymes with Silver was first performed by the Mark Morris Dance Group at Zellerbach Hall, University of California, Berkeley on 6th March 1997.