Posted in 138 creations, dance making, Paul Taylor, Paul Taylor Dance Company

Dancing In The Spring: Rites of the Season

This is the premiere season of “To Make Crops Grow,” a deadly funny character study of modern folk 
embroiled in ancient rites.

It is always an honor and a privilege to witness a Taylor dance performance. The Paul Taylor Dance Company is holding its second spring at the David H. Koch Theatre on the Lincoln Center campus through March 24th.

So many of the pieces Paul Taylor has created elevate our understanding of even simple things to delightful new heights. Among those exciting  and sometimes revelatory experiences, there are the flowing movements of “Cascade,”  a dance he choreographed in 1999 or “Eventide.” The latter is a companion piece to Taylor’s beautiful new work, “Perpetual Dawn.” (See the review of the world premiere here.) Or is it the other way around, since the intimate “Eventide” was created in 1997?

The moody backdrop of a lone tree -with set and costume design by Santo Loquasto– and Jennifer Tipton’s lighting are characters in “Eventide.” The dance is set in seven parts to music by Ralph Vaughan Williams. The exceptionally lovely interlude in “Eventide,” Musette was danced by Parisa Khobdeh and Michael Trusnovec at our performance with a wonderful lyricism.  Heather McGinley and Francisco Graciano also made a particularly nice pairing in Moto Perpetuo.

Photo by Tom Caravaglia from Paul Taylor’s new “Perpetual Dawn”

The souls writhing in gayly silk robes (the women) or workmen-like overalls (the men), sets and costumes by Alex Katz, present a Hieronymous Bosch-like vision of end times in “Last Look.” Donald York composed the music for the Taylor dance, which was first performed in 1985. Mirrors and darkness create a haunting texture for “Last Look.”

Story-telling is one of the delights of a Taylor work, and in “To Make Crops Grow,” he takes his time to the reveal, riffing along the way on human nature and foibles. “To Make Crops Grow,” enjoying its premiere season this year, making it dance number 137 in the Taylor compendium, with music by Ferde Grofe, is tantalizing in its pace.

“Le Sacre Du Printemps (The Rehearsal)” is celebrating the anniversary of the Nijinsky-Stravinsky collaboration that ended in near riot in Paris in 1913. Taylor’s take blends humor with brutality, making fun of  Nijinsky’s maligned ballet, but not completely abandoning its theme of sacrifice. Amy Young’s on-going tantrum of loss is poignantly amusing. The mix of joyful and barbaric, is also seen in “Company B,” a personal favorite, where the hope and bounce of the dancing and the songs by the Andrews Sisters contrast with the ugly realities of war.


For an opinionated woman such as I, blogging is an excellent outlet. This is one of many fori that I use to bloviate. Enjoy! Comment on my commentary.

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