The University of Iowa

Conversations with Mark Morris


Free admission – donations appreciated

Over the course of three Thursday evenings, acclaimed choreographer Mark Morris will talk with three fellow artists about the creative process and much more. Each conversation will be moderated by journalist Paula Zahn.

Mark Morris in conversation with Peter Sellars, director
March 4, 2021, 7:30 pm

Peter Sellars is an opera, theater and festival director who has gained international renown for his groundbreaking and transformative interpretations of classics, advocacy of 20th century and contemporary music, and collaborative projects with an extraordinary range of creative artists. His works explore issues that connect the contemporary and the timeless, with an understanding of art’s power as a means of social action and moral expression.

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Mark Morris in conversation with Nico Muhly, composer
March 11, 2021, 7:30 pm

Nico Muhly is an American composer and sought-after collaborator whose influences range from American minimalism to the Anglican choral tradition. The recipient of commissions from The Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Tallis Scholars and St. John’s College, Cambridge and others, he has written more than 100 works for the concert stage.

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Mark Morris in conversation with Alice Waters, chef
March 18, 2021, 7:30 pm

Alice Waters is a chef, author, food activist, and the founder and owner of Chez Panisse Restaurant in Berkeley, California (est. 1971). In 1995 she founded the Edible Schoolyard Project, which advocates for a free regenerative school lunch for all children and a sustainable food curriculum in every public school. She has been a champion of local sustainable agriculture for over four decades. In 2015 she was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Obama.

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Mark Morris formed the Mark Morris Dance Group in 1980 and has since created over 150 works for the company. From 1988 to 1991, he was Director of Dance at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, the national opera house of Belgium. In 1990, he founded the White Oak Dance Project with Mikhail Baryshnikov. Morris is also an acclaimed ballet choreographer, with twenty-two works commissioned by ballet companies worldwide. Noted for his musicality, Morris has been described as “undeviating in his devotion to music” (The New Yorker). He was named a Fellow of the MacArthur Foundation in 1991. The Mark Morris Dance Company performed at Hancher Auditorium in March 1987 and was scheduled to perform during the 2020-2021 season prior to the public health emergency.

Paula Zahn is a nine-time Emmy award-winning journalist and the executive producer and host of Investigation Discovery’s On the Case with Paula Zahn and host of WNET's weekly arts and culture multi-platform showcase, NYC-Arts. She was first introduced to national audiences as an anchor for the news segments on ABC News’ Good Morning America. She went on to host shows for CBS News, Fox News, and CNN. Zahn's many prestigious honors include six Gracie Awards, two National Headliner Awards, and recognition of her career reportage from the Museum of Television and Radio.