You couldn't go to NYCB in the 60s without seeing a lot of Taras. It was a time when Balanchine was experimenting with different kinds of musical influence, including jazz, electronic stuff, etc.. I thought of Taras as the company's "other Stravinsky choreographer."
I especially remember Ebony Concerto
(which, as an amateur clarinetist, I loved). The piece was originally composed for Woody Herman, but I can't recall how the music was handled during its performance as a ballet. It was jazzy, and the audience loved it. Critics, however, thought it a little too slick.
I remember most for its sweet pas de deux for Arthur Mitchell and Suzanne Farrell -- another ballet with a black man and a white woman dancing intimately together. This was the height of the Civil Rights movement and of racial tensions generally. A big segment of the American public was still segregationist (or pro-segregationist) at that time, so the ballet made a statement even more than Agon
's earlier and more famous pas de deux. As I recall, though I may be wrong in this, the couple were interrupted and separated by others on the stage. There was no happy ending. Not then.
Taras played an important role at NYCB, for me at least. Balanchine and Robbins couldn't choreograph everything. And when you got Taras, you got something that would always be fun to watch, and often something that made you feel and think more than you expected it to do.
Here's Taras' 2004 obituary in the Times:
I like the author's concluding statement:
... he was one of the few Balanchine disciples whose solidity of craft could also cross into imagination.