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Paul Taylor NY season

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#1 Alexandra


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Posted 02 March 2002 - 01:16 PM

Wind-Up Dolls Creakily Evoke a Puritan Soul


"Antique Valentine," Paul Taylor's new dance piece, is delightful and deep. Its world is inhabited by turn-of-the- century music-box figurines, surrogates for ourselves. When a doll-like dancer stiffly offers a posy to his sweetheart, she proves allergic: the human condition summed up in one big sneeze.
Hopes are deflated but even mechanical creatures manifest a spirit that tries to rise up repeatedly in this witty little existentialist allegory.

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#2 liebs


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Posted 02 March 2002 - 04:58 PM

I don' t think I saw last year's season, so many of the dancers were new to me but like Leigh I miss some of the former company members who were more individual. I especially felt that way in Arden Court, a ballet I know well. This was one of the first pieces in which Taylor introduced an astounding group of men including David Parsons but the current group was bland and muscle bound. Only Patrick Corbin had a flow of movement rather than a jerky step by step execution. In the duet that features a slow moving man with a quickly darting woman, the casting was all wrong I think. Egvedt was heavy and her partner was a light weight, oh where was Kate Johnson.

I had never seen Counterswarm, reminded me of The Cage, sex and death in the insect world. There was one fabulous ppd and Lisa Viola was terrific as the Queen Been but I got tired to the insecty movement long before it was over. The company did look terrific though.

The highlight of the evening was Black Tuesday, danced with more weight and personaliy than ABT gave it this fall. I particularly liked Oren Duckstein as the pimp, much more obscene than at ABT. Mazzini was terrific in Boulevard of Broken Dreams and Corbin was brilliant in the closing movement.

#3 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 04 March 2002 - 12:33 AM

I went tonight (Sorceror's Sofa, Duet from Roses, The Word and Cloven Kingdom) and left awfully happy.

Cloven is just a wonderfully thought out work. I love the women's mirrored headresses, (one, a square box seems almost Tudor); they are such brilliant shorthand for so many different things, civilization, thought, reason. . .And there is some thing about guys in white tie and tails even when crawling on all fours.

I had just seen the CBC/BBC broadcast of Les Noces and I'm fascinated by the similarities between it and The Word, mostly in their iconic arrangements. It doesn't necessarily mean that Taylor's seen Les Noces, they could have both just used Byzantine and Russian icons as their inspiration.

Taylor has one character, "The Chaste Lounge" on pointe in The Sorceror's Sofa. It's rather funny to see - pointe shoes as sofa legs. It's also interesting because he doesn't intend to replicate ballet pointework, but to recall it, he's using it as a shorthand for delicacy, and everyone know's what he's getting at.

#4 rg


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Posted 04 March 2002 - 09:57 AM

re: the word, it's been recorded that taylor got specific references for his work, perhaps even his inspiration from the start, from taking in the 'glory of byzantium' exhibit at the met. mus. of art. in particular one icon caught taylor's eye: "The Heavenly Ladder of John Kilmax" a late-12th c. icon from the Holy Monestary of Catherine, Sinai, Egypt. (it shows a parade of men climbing a ladder to heaven as any number of little demons do their best w/ ropes and arrows to pull isolated individuals down off their climb, to plummet to the lowerdepths of an inferno.

one iconparticular ms. illumination showed a ladder w/ men and women climbing to heaven as isolated ones fall

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