PAUL TAYLOR DANCE COMPANY GALA
November 5, 2022
The Paul Taylor Dance Company returns to Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch theater for
the first time since 2019 with a series of programs under the title “Taylor: A New Era”.
The evening of their annual Gala began with the iconic Arden Court, displaying Taylor’s
signature modern-balletic style. Accompanied by the Orchestra of St. Lukes, who bring lush
depth to the Baroque symphonies of William Boyce, the choreography’s saccharine humoris
is performed with vim and vigor by the exceptional company.
Ebullient attitudes and idyllically
outstretched arms abound as the dancers flash on and off the stage. Striking moments are caught
under the bright lights when one small dancer clings to the back of another while he balances
and turns, limbs sturdy and poised under her weight; or a train of dancers tumbling and rolling
under the reach of a grand round de jambe then vanishing into the wings before the toes of the
extended leg return to the floor.
Punctuating these images are sections of group work, where Taylor’s geometrically complex lifts are especially exciting to watch, employing as many as six dancers
to make shapes that seem to defy gravity.The dance finishes with a triumphant parade of leaps
from the ensemble in a jubilant diagonal across the stage, driving home the artistic and athletic
talents of these dancers.
The second dance in the program, choreographed by the company’s resident
choreographer Lauren Lovette (a former New York City Ballet principal dancer) rounds out the
flavor of the evening with its dramatic flair. Titled Solitire, the piece is anything but lonely, as
a vibrant ensemble of thirteen dancers pack the stage, filling every inch with dynamic tableaus
forming and reforming couplings that pair each dancer with another continually finding union,
release, and eventual reunion.
Santo Loquasto's set is especially exciting when softly colored bars descend
from above and cast a lattice of shadows over John Harnage dancing a roiling solo before
giving way to a beautiful and fleetingly tender duet between Harnage and Lee Duveneck.
they break apart the set floats away and with this lifting, the grey light that had permeated the
stage turns to warm yellow like dawn breaking over the the rest of the ensemble pouring back
onto the stage. Finally the curtain falls on Harnage with his back to the audience, looking up the
the sky and the promise of a future filled with exciting and beautiful dance, new and old.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Noah Witke Mele