Due to a very generous friend-of-a-friend at work, I found myself in possession of two tickets (in the sixth row of the orchestra) to opening night of Paul Taylor Dance Company’s Lincoln Center engagement. A good dancer friend of mine was free to go, so off we went to the Koch Theater. It had been awhile since I’d studied Paul Taylor so I was mostly going for the luxury of it.
Although there were a few musicians protesting Taylor’s use of canned music, Lincoln Center Plaza was full of patrons eager for the evening’s start. As we walked into the theater we bumped into Dan Wagoner, a dancer/choreographer/teacher/mentor who danced with Paul Taylor, Martha Graham, and Merce Cunningham. Talk about a living legacy!
With each minute, our excitement to see the company perform some of their classic repertory grew. The theater buzzed with anticipation.
The night opened with Aureole. Glorious in white, Taylor’s dancers soared across the floor. Taylor’s dancers are hand-picked visions of athletic and graceful bodies in their prime.
The comedic Troilus and Cressida came next, which while I credit the dancers with flawless timing and a bravura performance, I don’t really have anything else to say about it. The corniness made me cringe a few times.
Brandenburgs came third, Taylor dressing his dancers regally in green. Michael Trusnovec totally captivated the viewer.
Piazzolla Caldera finished the night in a sensual stream of tang0-laced partnering. In the couple pairings, we see some of everything – male/male, male/female, female/female. Partners changed hands frequently, keeping focus to the bigger picture of sensuality, romance, and desire rather than deviating to a smaller snapshot of a specific, deliberate relationship.
By the evening’s close, I was totally in love with Paul Taylor and his dancers. Filing out of the theater, everyone was smiling and bubbling with joy. That it was a special night for dance was evident to all. The audience practically glowed from experiencing such magnificent soaring movement.
Thank you, Paul Taylor, for sharing your gift.