L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato

When: May 29-30, 8 p.m. and Sun., May 31, 3 p.m. 2009

Aside from its exacting grace and technical rigor, one of the most fascinating aspects of Mark Morris' L'Allegro, ilPenserosoedil Moderato is that it straddles so many different epochs. Part traditional ballet, part sensual modern dance, the piece incorporates poetry by Milton with a score by the Baroque composer George Frideric Handel and imagery inspired by 18th-century poet and painter William Blake. It's a rather improbable piece for a choreographer of Morris' ilk -- he's known for pliant movements and elastic shapes, rather than rigid, canonical forms -- but Morris gave the oratorio his own spin when he premiered it in 1988. L'Allegrocomes to Cal Performances this weekend with a cast of 24 dancers, plus musical accompaniment by the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and the Chamber Chorus of UC Berkeley. Friday, May 29 and Saturday, May 30 (8 p.m.) and Sunday, May 31(3 p.m.) at Zellerbach Hall (UC Berkeley). $36-$82.

Rachel Swan

Price: $36-$82

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