Paul Taylor Dance Company
551 Grand Street
New York, NY, 10002
(Taylor Dance Company Website)
Paul Taylor, Artistic Director
And President, Board of Directors
Robert E. Aberlin, Chairman, Board of Directors
Bettie de Jong, Rehearsal Director
John Tomlinson, Executive Director
Jennifer Tipton, Principal Lighting Designer
Santo Loquasto, Principal Set & Costume Designer
Lisa Labrado, Director of Public Relations
Michael Trusnovec, Amy Young,
Robert Kleinendorst, James Samson, Michelle Fleet,
Parisa Khobdeh, Sean Mahoney, Eran Bugge,
Francisco Graciano, Laura Halzack,
Jamie Rae Walker, Michael Apuzzo, Aileen Roehl,
Michael Novak, Heather McGinley, George Smallwood
In Performances at the David H. Koch Theater
At Lincoln Center
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
March 17, 2013 Matinee
(See Other Taylor Company Reviews)
Paul Taylor grew up near Washington, DC and studied dance at Juilliard. He first presented his own company and original choreography in 1954. For seven years, he was a soloist with the Martha Graham Dance Company and continued to create dances for his own company. In 1959 he was a Guest Artist and danced with the New York City Ballet, and, since 1975, he has concentrated on his choreography. Mr. Taylor has won dozens of awards, such as the National Medal of Arts from President Clinton in 1993, a 1992 Emmy Award for Speaking in Tongues, and a 1992 Kennedy Center Honor. He was elected to Knighthood by the French Government and in 2000 was awarded Legion d’Honneur for contributions to French culture. (Program Notes). He has received numerous honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degrees from prestigious colleges, including Skidmore, where I first met him, many years ago. The Paul Taylor Dance Company is a sought after troupe and tours extensively around the globe. Visit www.paultaylor.org for the latest tour dates.
Musical Offering, a requiem (1986): Music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Orchestrations by Anton Webern and Frank Michael Beyer, Choreography by Paul Taylor, Set and Costumes by Gene Moore, lighting by Jennifer Tipton, Performed by the Company.
This 1986 work is divided into sixteen sections, with the Company in solos, duos, trios, a quartet, a quintet, and full ensemble. In flesh-colored leotards and loincloths, Taylor's dancers evoke the Martha Graham technique of contractions, releases, and primitive gestures. Bodies glow in acrobatic choreography, with every sinew and muscle in bursts of energetic feats, to Johann Sebastian Bach’s score, orchestrated by Webern and Beyer. Arms swing back and forth like pendulums, with a cloudy blue, surreal sky by Gene Moore, warmly lit by Jennifer Tipton. There’s no eye contact here, just quiet gazing. Amy Young and Michelle Fleet, along with Francisco Graciano, were splendid.
Gossamer Gallants (2011): Music by Bedřich Smetana (Dances from “The Bartered Bride”), Choreography by Paul Taylor, Set and Costumes by Santo Loquasto, Lighting by Jennifer Tipton, Performed by the Company.
I never tire of this two year-old work, with the Company in buzzing bee attire, men chasing and attacking women, then women chasing and attacking men. When the female bees have their own dance, they bond and flex muscles, using the same show-off motif the males had used. There’s wit, satire, wiggling, and campy gestures. The entire Company seems to be hamming it up, loving every moment. It’s like a wild wedding party, with Smetana’s rousing score to add fizz. Michael Novak and Jamie Rae Walker caught my eye for their engaging antics. .
Company B (1991): Music – Songs sung by the Andrews Sisters, Typical sentiments of Americans during WWII, Choreography by Paul Taylor, Costumes by Santo Loquasto, Lighting by Jennifer Tipton, Performed by the Company.
Here’s another of Mr. Taylor’s iconic works, this one over two decades old, and the anticipation of each of the Andrews Sisters’ songs builds in momentum.
Laura Halzack and Michael Apuzzo danced the very rambunctious “Pennsylvania Polka”, while Francisco Graciano (who, among many, danced in all three of tonight’s pieces) went dervish in “Tico-Tico”. Parisa Khobdeh was ravishing in her interpretation of “I Can Dream, Can’t I?”, and Eran Bugge swiveled her hips rhythmically for “Rum and Coca-Cola”. James Samson was the popular guy in “Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny, Oh!”, and Robert Kleinendorst led the “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (of Company B)”. The shadowy image of falling soldiers on the lit backdrop, along with soldiers falling about center stage was poignant as always.
Kudos to Paul Taylor.