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Paul Taylor's American Modern Dance: Airs, Lost, Found and Lost, Syzygy
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Paul Taylor's American Modern Dance: Airs, Lost, Found and Lost, Syzygy

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Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance
551 Grand Street, Top Floor
New York, NY, 10002

Phone: 212.431.5562

(Taylor American Modern Dance Website)

Paul Taylor, Artistic Director
Music Director and Conductor, Donald York
Featuring the Paul Taylor Dance Company
And Lyon Opera Ballet

Music Performed Live by:
Orchestra of St. Luke’s

Paul Taylor, President, Board of Directors
C.F. Stone III, Chairman, Board of Directors
Bettie de Jong, Rehearsal Director
John Tomlinson, Executive Director
Jennifer Tipton / James F. Ingalls, Principal Lighting Designers
Santo Loquasto, Principal Set & Costume Designer
Lisa Labrado, Director of Public Relations

Dancers:
Michael Trusnovec, Robert Kleinendorst, James Samson,
Michelle Fleet, Parisa Khobdeh, Sean Mahoney,
Eran Bugge, Francisco Graciano, Laura Halzack,
Jamie Rae Walker, Michael Apuzzo, Michael Novak,
Heather McGinley, George Smallwood,
Christina Lynch Markham, Madelyn Ho
Kristin Draucker

In Performances at the David H. Koch Theater
At Lincoln Center
www.lincolncenter.org

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
March 18, 2017 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, now under the umbrella of Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance, is a sought after troupe and tours extensively around the globe.

Airs (1978): Music by G. F. Handel (Excerpts from Concerti Grossi), Choreography by Paul Taylor, Costumes by Gene Moore, Lighting by Jennifer Tipton, Conductor: Donald York, Performed by Michael Trusnovec, Robert Kleinendorst, James Samson, Parisa Khobdeh, Eran Bugge, Laura Halzack, Christiana Lynch Markham.

Airs, a late 1970’s Taylor work in Gene Moore’s aqua-white costumes, is always a perfect piece to introduce a seasonal matinee. Lately, the Taylor Company looks more and more at home at Koch Theater, as they propel themselves through the air in motion and gesture, here, evocative of the Graham genre. Martha Graham was an early mentor of a youthful Paul Taylor, and the ongoing connections are thrilling to behold. In fact, Graham’s Prelude to Action from Sketches from Chronicle (1936) may have specifically inspired some of this figurative choreography. Ms. Graham’s iconic contractions are missing in this work, but her iconic pelvic thrusts and outstretched arms are abundant.

With dramatic shifts in lighting, thanks to Jennifer Tipton, the Company is in especially fine form. Laura Halzack danced a solo to Concerto in G Major, and Parisa Khobdeh and Robert Kleinendorst were featured in Overture to Ariodante…, while Eran Bugge and Michael Trusnovec were astounding in Concerto in F Major…. It becomes more apparent on each viewing that Handel’s score generates respect, reverence, and rhythm. This floating, aerobic work moves dancers in spinning coyness and feverish frenzy, but with Taylor’s requisite poise, balance, and sensitivity. Donald York was back in the pit, tonight, and Orchestra of St. Luke’s was brilliant and resonant.


Lost, Found and Lost (1982): “Elevator music”, re-orchestrated by Donald York, Choreography by Paul Taylor, Costumes and stage design by Alex Katz, Lighting by Jennifer Tipton, Conductor: Donald York, Performed by the Company.

In retro Taylor stance, one hip out and half of a slouch, the gestures evoke Taylor’s 1956 Three Epitaphs, one of my all-time favorites. The elevator music has popular ballads swirling aimlessly, as aimlessly as the Company stands in a row, as if to go onto an always overcrowded elevator. One at a time, the dancer in front passes through, as the Company stands posing in Alex Katz’ long-sleeved, black unitards with comically placed crystals. They lean, they walk, they gaze at themselves, while “As Time Goes By” wafts through the air. Little motion occurs, as the choreography is vastly understated.


Syzygy (1987):. Music composed for the Dance by Donald York, Choreography by Paul Taylor, Costumes by Santo Loquasto, Lighting by Jennifer Tipton, Conductor: Donald York, Performed by the Company.

In stretched steel and black tights, like machinery in motion, hair and bodies go flying. The windy choreography matches Conductor, Donald York’s music, his second composed score in today’s matinee. According to the program notes, “Syzygy” means a “nearly straight line configuration of three or more celestial bodies in a gravitational system”. And, celestial they were, flung about and hurling through space. What an idea. Gravity-defying chaos merges with structure and skill, thanks to the extraordinary energy of thirteen dancers. Madelyn Ho is grandly featured with the ensemble of Michael Trusnovec, Robert Kleinendorst, Sean Mahoney, Eran Bugge, Francisco Graciano, Laura Halzack, Jamie Rae Walker, Michael Apuzzo, Michael Novak, Heather McGinley, George Smallwood, and Christina Lynch Markham. Together, they team up for a flash finale. These are tireless, talented dancers.

Kudos to Paul Taylor.













For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net