Q&A with Sarah Van Patten.
Time Out New York: How does he [Mark Morris] draw qualities out of you?
Sarah Van Patten: I think this is really important: When he works with a ballet company, he’s always on us about making sure we don’t add that extra ballet fluff. As I was saying with Alexei, he has a very pure, clean, simple approach—it’s all about how the simple movements go a long way. With Mark, it’s the same. So he brings out, I don’t want to say pedestrian [qualities], but he gets on us for little things. To run offstage, we do this big head motion, and he says to us: “Just run. Don’t get ready to run. Just go.” So things like that. You realize with a lot of older classical ballet, you have these isms, and he really tries to strip that and to just focus on the music, the movement and the dance. As he says, it’s added choreography. That’s good to always keep in mind.