PAUL TAYLOR AMERICAN MODERN DANCE
June 17, 2019
Last weekend, Paul Taylor’s Company co-celebrated the Orchestra of St. Luke’s 2019 Bach Festival. The predominantly mature audience indulged in the company’s elegant space-carving athleticism embellishing the masterful orchestral performance.
In Junction, the polychromatic compositions of dancers in unitards complimented the robust simplicity of Bach’s excerpts of Solo Suites for Cello no. 1 and No. 4, eloquently interpreted by Myron Lutzke, and counterbalanced Taylor’s abstract, pensive choreographic proposal. Junction’s narratives were conveyed through a series of constructing and de-constructing compositions, created by bodies building structures in space like human lego blocks. Taylor’s scenic choreographic dialogue of swirling rotating shoulder to arm gestures and contained weighted carving shapes was contrasted by the exploration of his minimalistic unanimated statements.
Last weekend, Paul Taylor’s Company co-celebrated the Orchestra of St. Luke’s 2019 Bach Festival. The predominantly mature audience indulged in the Company’s elegant space-carving athleticism embellishing the masterful orchestral performance.
Acclaimed contemporary dance choreographer, Pam Tanowitz's All at Once invested in a dialogue of vertical angular thematic reiterations. Accompanying the score for Bach’s Violin Concerto in A Minor and Oboe Sonata in G Minor, the company issued reflective, indirect, contained movement phrases throughout the work. The unitard costumes enlivened the stage with their aqua tones of light green and pale blue hues covered in white transparent veils. Commissioned in part by Teresa and Douglas Peterson, Tanowitz created this interesting, recitative modern work. As the piece progressed, a series of groupings interchanged within a prevailing staccato vocabulary. Abundant parallel sissonnes were framed by arms in 1st position, and temps levés in sturdy third arabesque were counterbalanced by spiraling attitudes en tournant within Carlo Blassis’ aesthetic.
Tayor's Promethean Fire, choreographed as a reaction to the destruction of New York’s twin towers, conveyed a sense of triumphant harmony resurgent from the ashes of struggle. A constant flow of interweaving circles alternated with shuffling parallel lines of dancers, merging into architectonically mounds of overlapping bodies. Taylor’s poignant musicality dynamically highlighted the accentuation of the orchestra’s crescendos, vividly painting instrumental cannons on stage, and encasing grave tones through powerful gestures. Especially captivating in this work was Taylor’s coiling lifts, and intrepid running fouetées caught in mid-air. Paul Taylor’s rampant choreographic statements left the audience breathless with Promethean Fire’s visceral cry, enlarged by the burning red atmosphere designed by Jennifer Tipton, which enhanced Bach’s compelling Toccata & Fugue in D Minor orchestrated by Leopold Stokowski.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY