Originally posted by alexandra:
Good point about Balanchine and Europeans, Richard. There are undoubtedly Americans who love Bejart -- and certainly all Americans don't worship Balanchine. I suppose there's no "all" in any of this.
Also there are quite a lot of differences between European countries- Europe might look small when seen from the USA, but there are big cultural differences. Béjart and Petit are quite popular in Italy, but not at all in UK, for example. Also, I suppose that asking people about the "greatest living choreographer", depending on the European country where you are you might have quite a lot of answers in favor of William Forsythe, Pina Bausch, John Neumeier, Jiri Kylian or Hans Van Manen...
About the original question: I have only seen one performance by the Cunningham company and one by the Taylor company, plus a few Taylor works danced by ballet companies, so I really can't have an opinion about it (besides, asking "who's the greatest" often has as much meaning as "which is better, tea or coffee?"...) I think that in France Cunningham would be likely to get more votes, because he's better known: his company tours to France quite often (in March, they'll perform in Alès, Le Havre, Clermont-Ferrand, Dijon and Mâcon- not exactly very big cities, there must be about 50000 people in Alès and about 35000 in Mâcon),
come almost every season to the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris with sold-out performances and very positive reviews. Things have changed quite a lot since "Un jour ou deux" created a scandal at the Paris Opera in 1972! The Taylor company comes to France less often, and has received less enthusiastic reviews.