Posted in dance, modern dance, Paul Taylor, Paul Taylor American Modern Dance, Paul Taylor Dance Company

Dancing “with a generous spirit”

I may be running out of adjectives to describe Paul Taylor’s brilliant air-propelled aerodynamic troupe, Paul Taylor Dance Company, now properly called Paul Taylor American Modern Dance. Here Paul Taylor, a man as adept with words as he is with dance steps, may be able to help. In a 1974 memo, Taylor exhorted his  dancers to give “zunchistic” performances.

“Zunch is the thing,” Taylor said… “that sets the exciting dancer apart from the adequate one….” He went on “Zunch is fullness. It is not merely authority and, naturally not technical brilliance…. Zunch is being generous with your spirit.” (I am quoting from The Diamond Anniversary book for the Paul Taylor Dance Company.)

PTAMD‘s New York season running from March 15th through April 3rd at the David H. Koch at Lincoln Center promises another opportunity to find new words

Spindrift Photo by Paul B. Goode
Spindrift Photo by Paul B. Goode

Truthfully, as I run out of descriptives for a Paul Taylor Dance Company presentation, so it seems that Taylor’s dancers nearly run out of stage when they perform. Having exhausted my own vocabulary to effectively explicate what they do, I am grateful to be able to describe their movements with the zesty expletive of “zunch.”

Snow White Photo by Paul B. Goode
Snow White Photo by Paul B. Goode


Modern dance uses less of the arabesque and en pointe than it does the expulsive and explosive whirl and jump. PTAMD is so often airborne it seems to lack connection with all earthbound action. When it does come down to earth, it offers surprise and amazement.

Mr. Taylor’s own work now numbering 144 pieces is equally impressively aerial/ethereal. The new dances, #143 and 144 added to this year’s repertory give an adrenal rush. This variety of excitement is no less breathtaking than what we experience when watching a blow-em-up blockbuster.


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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