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Bad Boys in tights 

Blame the leader of the Mark Morris Dance Group if Cleveland's classical-music and ballet fans get a little rowdy tonight, when the 14-member troupe performs eclectic interpretations of works by Béla Bartók, Johann Sebastian Bach, and Robert Schumann. "Mark Morris is like Mick Jagger," says Pam Young, executive director of Dance Cleveland. "He's the bad-boy creative genius of late-20th-century dance." Known for his stormy disposition and his penchant for perfectionism, the Seattle-born Morris is the brat prince of the modern-dance world. But he's also broken down creative barriers with unconventional aplomb, from his campy Nutcracker knockoff, The Hard Nut, to cross-genre collaborations with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, fashionista Isaac Mizrahi, and painter Howard Hodgkin. "His choreography is exceedingly accessible," says Young. "He translates the museum(?) and makes it a visual experience, punctuated by beautiful, delicate movement." Morris' choreography also takes the stuffiness out of the typical, tutu-clad ballet moves. "Dance is an art form that should be a spur-of-the-moment experience for the audience. You will never see the same movement again, because it's a human effort," says Young. "We all have that same body. But through dance, we can appreciate the possibilities of the human form at the highest level." The curtain rises at 8 tonight at the Ohio Theatre, 1511 Euclid Avenue. Tickets are $18 to $50. Call 216-241-6000 or visit
Sat., Jan. 26, 8 p.m.; Sat., Feb. 2, 8 p.m., 2008

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