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

Pure and simple

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Promethan FirePhoto by Paul B. Goode

An Appreciation

Paul Taylor has an “inquiring minds” approach to dancemaking, and I surmise from readings in his essays, the same ecleticism in his life.

Paul Taylor American Modern Dance

In his dances we benefit from exposure to Taylor’s far-flung tastes and ideas. The wide range of his imagination excites and entices.

Often multiple viewings yield deeper and deepter understandings. His dance seems so simple and pure. Its complexity is incrementally revealed.

Sometimes it runs to the Gothic and lurid, as in Big Bertha or Promethan Fire or The Word. Sometimes a pleasing surface hides an undercurrent of pain or sadness, like Company B. Some works are an homage, like Le Sacre du Printemps… or To Make Crops Grow. There are memories from a long life, like  Danbury Mix or Esplanade or Sea Lark.

The New York Season Begins

When you’ve dug into the canon and feel sated, Paul Taylor presents you with a new and nourishing gem. He is prolific. Each season brings another work. One year, it was American Dreamer (2013), another Death and the Damsel (2015). This season, it’s The Open Door and Ports of Call. The latter is a World Premiere with its first showing on March 8th, and the former has been introduced elsewhere but will make its New York bow at the Gala on March 9th.

The pleasures of discovery await. The Lincoln Center season begins March 7th and runs through the 26th.

Be prepared to be astonished, delighted and enlightened.

 

Posted in dance, dance making, Lincoln Center, modern American dance, modern dance, modern dance meets ballet, New York City Ballet, Paul Taylor American Modern Dance, Paul Taylor Dance Company

There will be dancing…

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Paul Taylor dancers by Paul B, Goode

@nycballet

The New York City Ballet ends its winter season at Lincoln Center this weekend with what for us is a highlight. The program of Richard Rodgers inspired ballets by three disparate but compatible choreographers.

It is hard to pick a favorite from among the three, but Carousel (A Dance) gets the nod for the rearity of its performance. Christopher Wheeldon’s ballet retells the cental romance from the 1945 musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein. Carousel (A Dance), created in 2002, is set to “The Carousel Waltz” and “If I Loved You.”

Peter Martins’ Thou Swell and Balanchine’s Slaughter on Tenth Avenue  on the other hand has given us the pleasure of frequent sightings. Both pieces make the most of a theatrical setting, with the Martins’ ballet using a ballroom for its home, and mingling that dance style in with ballet dance. Martins also gives us singers to accompany the nightclub mood.
George Balanchine’s ballet is a crowd-pleasing vaudeville pastiche with a little tap in the mix.

Enter @PaulTaylorDanceCompany

Dancing in right behind the @nycballet at the David H. Koch Theater, from March 7 through the 26th, is the Paul Taylor American Modern Dance troupe. Paul Taylor is the one of the last of the third generation of modern dance choreographers and pioneers. Taylor, born in 1930, was an original Martha Graham dancer. The New York season is an opportunity to catch up with the  new works Taylor has created for his dancers, and for his audience, and to see the beloved ones of the repertory. For several years now, Taylor has incorporated the works of other dance masters in the repertoire.

The premieres this 2017 season include Taylor’s Ports of Call, and The Open Door as well as Lila York’s Continum.

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Promethan Fire Photo by Paul B. Goode

On March 19th, the company has added a special program honoring the modern dance past, with performances of works by Merce Cunningham, Martha Graham and a Paul Taylor. The evening, which begins at 6pm, is called Icons, and features the Paul Taylor Dance Company in Graham’s Diversion of Angels from 1948 and Paul Taylor’s Promethean Fire from 2002, and presents guest artists from France’s Lyon Opera Ballet, Artistic Director Yorgos Loukos, in Merce Cunningham’s Summerspace from 1958.

Paul Taylor American Modern Dance is local, with headquarters in downtown NYC, and this year they are featuring an opportunity for fans to win a $500 Amazon gift card by sharing their New York love. For your chance to win in the We Live Here, Why Do You? contest, get an entry form and visit the company FB page.

Posted in dance, modern American dance

Paul Taylor Modern American Dance

Paul Taylor is an outsize talent.

Photograph by Bob Cato; from the Dance Division, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations.
Photograph by Bob Cato; from the Dance Division, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations.

As a dancer, he was a towering presence both literally and ephemerally. Despite a late start as a dancer, the lanky Taylor danced with Martha Graham’s troupe, for instance and was a soloist in Balanchine’s Episodes with NYCB in 1959.

As a dancemaker, Taylor also stands out. He is among the last living legend of the first generation of great American modern dance creators. Taylor has 142 pieces (and counting) in his repertory.

Each spring a world premiere or a New York premiere pops up on the calendar. Sea Lark, which debuted in Cincinatti, in 2014, is on the a bill at the David H. Koch Theater during the run March 11-29. Along with Sea Lark is a dance currently entitled “New Work” which will get its world premiere.

Taylor’s company has been renamed Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance to reflect its inclusion of the masterworks and new works by contemporary choreographers in the rotation.

This season, Doris Humphrey’s Passacaglia, created in the 1930s, will be revived with Kent Tritle playing Bach’s Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor on the organ at each performance. presented by the Limón Dance Company.

In fact, there will be live music for each of the works presented, performed by the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, conducted by long-time Taylor Music Director, Donald York. Shen Wei Dance Arts will perform Rite of Spring, in which Shen  uses the legendary Stravinsky score, but departs from the Nijinsky original.

The two “guest works” are set alongside Taylor’s own masterpieces to celebrate the great indigenous American art form of modern dance.

On March 12th, PTAMD holds a gala and dinner, beginning at 6:30pm. Regular price tickets will be available for the performances only that evening as well, with $10 orchestra seats available for the entire run.

To learn more about PTAMD, visit http://www.ptamd.org/. To purchase tickets, visit http://www.davidhkochtheater.com/moreinfoPT.html