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Thursday May 26, 2016
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The Paul Taylor Dance Company

 

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Representing Taylor's rosy side, on the Saturday program, is Arden Court (1981), a classic Baroque showcase for the company, especially Taylor's male dancers, that swoons with life-affirming energy. On the Friday bill, Eventide (1997) evokes a twilight country stroll, as five couples amble in simple patterns to a score by Ralph Vaughan Williams and part in the end. Nothing fancy — the feeling is paramount.

Each evening's closing piece falls in Taylor's "dark" column. Promethean Fire (2002) has been broadly read as a response to the September 11 terrorist attacks, although Taylor remains coy, instead citing Disney's Fantasia as the inspiration. No matter. The piece courses with Taylor's signature humanism — dancers reach and collapse in grand thematic patterns before a winged apotheosis.

In Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rehearsal) (1980), two parallel narratives — a dance rehearsal and a detective story set in Chinatown — mirror the jazzy Stravinsky arrangement for two pianos. Characters sneak and spring in a spiky two-dimensional universe, like a Pink Panther cartoon or Egyptian hieroglyphs. How Taylor sews it all together is a feat of immense choreographic sophistication.

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