Mark Morris Dance Group return to Birmingham Hippodrome in April to perform a dance piece not seen in this country for over ten years.

L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato will only be performed at the London Coliseum and Birmingham Hippodrome, where it officially opens International Dance Festival Birmingham 2010.

This poetic collaboration boasts 32 dances by 24 dancers and features Handel’s pastoral ode set to the poetry of John Milton. The set design includes inspiration from William Blake’s later watercolours illustrating Milton’s poems.

The music and choral chant is provided by The Orchestra and Chorus of the English National Opera (ENO).   Conducted by Jane Glover, it features a quartet of soloists including Mark Padmore and Elizabeth Watts.

Stuart Griffiths, Birmingham Hippodrome chief executive and co-artistic director of IDFB 2010, said: “I have been waiting 15 years to programme this outstanding and acclaimed dance piece. It is without doubt one of the most memorable productions I have seen on the stage”.

Once considered the bad boy of the modern dance world, Mark Morris is now an influential and internationally celebrated choreographer whose pieces have become the standard of creativity for a new generation of dancers, choreographers and critics.    

The Mark Morris Dance Group was formed in 1980 and gave its first performance that year in New York City. The company’s touring schedule steadily expanded to include cities both in the US and in Europe, and in 1986 it made its first national television programme for the PBS series Dance in America.

In 1988, MMDG was invited to become the national dance company of Belgium, and spent three years in residence at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels. The company returned to the United States in 1991 as one of the world’s leading dance companies, performing across the US and at major international festivals.

L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato is at the Hippodrome April 22-24. Tickets are priced from £18.50-£49 and are available on 0844 338 5000 or online at