The tumultuous career of Mark Morris as choreographer of the Royal Monnaie Theater, marked by acclaim abroad and faux-pas in Belgium, is about to end.
Morris, 34, will go back to New York after the current season following three years of clashing with the local performing arts establishment, which failed to appreciate his free-flowing, intensely musical dance routines.Throughout his stay in Brussels, Morris has been faced with the living myth of his predecessor, French choreographer Maurice Bejart, who has been adopted as a native son following a quarter century of international success in Brussels. Morris created a feud with many critics when he called Bejart's work "vulgar and terrible."
Much of his work was soundly thrashed time and again in Brussels, while the international critics lauded him as the savior of modern dance. His latest tour of the United States was a huge success.
"Mark Morris, Go Home," bannered the Brussels daily Le Soir over a year ago after fans were outraged over a gaudy striptease by dancers in his "Mythologies."
Locals also have been irked by his reliance on U.S. dancers and his criticism of Belgium's leading choreographer, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. He called her a "tear-jerker."
He also said Belgium was "a somber society, very racist, sexist, homophobic, conservative, with some fascist tendencies."