HACKETTSTOWN-The Mark Morris Dance Group has been named as the “distinguished guest artist” for the 2009 Centenary College Gates Ferry Lecture Series. The residency will kick off on Tuesday, Jan. 27 with all-day workshops led by the company members, followed by a public lecture at 7 p.m. in the Grace Memorial Parlours of Centenary College. The lecture will be a discussion of the current state of the art of dance, as well as Morris’ own perspective and career in the field, Mark Morris has been hailed as “one of the great choreographers of our time,” by dance legend Mikhail Baryshnikov. The residency, which will run throughout the spring semester, will include many activities and instruction in various genres and techniques for Centenary students, as well as performances. Many of the events will also be open to the public. The residency of the Mark Morris Dance Group will spearhead the newly established “concentration in dance” degree program at the college, officials said. “It is a unique opportunity,” Carl Wallnau, fine arts chair, said. “Morris is one of just handful of exciting dance artists able to bring in a broad spectrum of audiences, many of whom know little about modern dance. Our students are poised to benefit from Morris’ outstanding artistry, not only as a dancer and choreographer, but as a distinctive and inspirational voice that carries over to many genres.” The Gates-Ferry Distinguished Visiting Lectureship at Centenary College was established in honor of the dedication of Joseph R. Ferry, Trustee from 1948 to 1976 and treasurer of the Board of Trustees for 20 years. For more information about the Mark Morris Dance Group residency, the dance degree program, the Gates Ferry Lectureship or a schedule of events open to the public, call Lea Antolini at 908-814-1400.