There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
In the film documenting their collaboration, choreographer Mark Morris tells cellist Yo-Yo Ma how he got the title for Falling Down Stairs (pictured): In his mind, Morris heard the opening of Bach’s Third Suite for Unaccompanied Cello, a descending scale of tumbling notes, and he imagined one of his dancers falling down the stairs, landing with a thud as the last note sounded, blood trickling from her mouth. From this somewhat morbid image came a rather beautiful dance, easily one of Morris’ best. And the dancers—wearing velvet nightshirts designed by couturier Isaac Mizrahi—do fall down the stairs: During the opening prelude they come rushing down a stylized pyramidal staircase and collapse on the floor. Ma appears on stage across from the staircase, where he is able to watch the dancers as he performs. At times it seems that the insistently rhythmic music punctuates the dancers’ movement, which is formal and balletic, but also satisfyingly quirky. The program also includes The Argument, set to music by Schumann, in which three couples try to resolve their conflicts. Rhymes with Silver, which had its area premiere last year, uses the linear and circular structures of folk dancing and ends with a freewheeling burst of energy. Ma will play for all three works; expect an exceptional evening of music and dance. At 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 6, and Wednesday, April 7, at the George Mason University Center for the Arts’ Concert Hall, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax. $32-50. (703) 993-8888. (Holly Bass)