Performing Arts: Dance
March 14, 2014
How marvelous to have the Paul Taylor Dance Company at the Koch Theater once again, filling the stage with the mastery and musicality unique to this fine troupe of dancers. Set to the reflective yet dynamic music of G. F. Handel, Airs opened the evening. Walking, pacing, and circular running paired with floating arabesques reached and suspended, at times endlessly through space. There is elegance in the upper torso no matter how fast and intricate the footwork. Michael Trusnovec and Eran Bugge danced a duet of special sensitivity, performing a spectacular one- handed lift seemingly out of nowhere. There is no better partner in the company than Mr. Trusnovec. Laura Halzack was luminescent, powerful yet supple and deliciously musical.

American Dreamer, which premiered at the Vail International Dance Festival, followed with a western theme and sense of light humor. Set to songs by Stephen Foster, and with a nod to both George Balanchine and Martha Graham, Mr. Taylor explored a variety of relationships. The costumes and sets by Santo Loquasto included a simple ballet barre, (which the dancers darted under and over), a dramatic pulled- back stage curtain, and many hats and bonnets, which they donned as they danced. One of the funniest moments was a sleepwalking scene with 3 women, passed the men who tried--unsuccessfully--to rouse them from their somnambulistic state. The dancers flounced around in prancing, and thigh- slapping, yee-hawing gestures. Liive musicians and a singer, would add immeasurably to the experience, as would live music for the season.

Mercuric Tidings closed the evening, danced to the majestic music of Franz Schubert. Mr. Trusnovec and Ms. Halzack once again led the ballet with slicing arms and leaps cutting through space. Dressed in deep blue unitards and tights, dancers' flared fan kicks and liquid movements come in waves matching the music. Mr. Taylor is a master at the tableau, creating scenes of stillness like a delicate conversation. The forceful dancing of Michelle Fleet-- (always a secure and profound presence)-- stood out, along with Sean Mahoney and Heather McGinley, bringing the night to a joyous close.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Deborah Wingert

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