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Mark Morris: 25 Years of Dance

In a world where most modern dance companies are struggling just to break even, the Mark Morris Dance Group is marking its 25th anniversary. To celebrate, Morris and his dancers are staging a monthlong series of concerts and events at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Morris, 49, still occasionally performs with his troupe of 18 full-time dancers, which is headquartered in the company's own building in Brooklyn. The circumstances may be plusher than when Morris started out as a struggling downtown artist, but he says his impetus remains the same.

"My intention, 25 years ago, was to make up dances and put on shows, really," Morris says. "That was it. That's what I did and that's what I do, of course."

The Mark Morris Dance Group has flourished over the years. It did a prestigious three-year residency in Belgium and it tours six months a year. Morris continues to live by his blue-collar work ethic. He's doing a piece for the Boston Ballet, staging Henry Purcell's King Arthur for the English National Opera in London and creating a dance for the Mostly Mozart Festival this summer.

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Jeff Lunden is a freelance arts reporter and producer whose stories have been heard on NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition, as well as on other public radio programs.