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Paul Taylor NYC March 2007

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This past Sunday 3/4/07 the Bettie de Jong role was performed by Orion Duckstein ... not sure whether a man was in that role before. Also interesting that his wife performed the role during last year's Paul Taylor season.

Mr Duckstein was a calm eye in the center of that work. Perhaps did not quite reveal himself enough (was "blank") during that moment when the person is sitting down and then wracked with grief, but still a wonderful performance.

The rest of the cast was uniformly great.

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I can sometimes be a late bloomer; it took me 50 years to discover Paul Taylor :( --but discover him I did :) I saw his Company for the first time about 3 years ago ('Airs', 'In The Beginning', 'Piazzolla Caldera'); I saw 'Airs' performed by a ballet company, but it didn't register with me. Last Sunday I saw another of his programs --'Roses'; 'Book of Beasts' and 'Company B'--and I found it to be a real pleasure to watch a dance program and love everything I saw. In thinking about Taylor's choreography I came away feeling that he is a legitimate heir to Tudor, deMille and Robbins. He combines their drama, wit and lyricism.

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atm 711, let me URGE you, if you can, try to see "Esplanade" --

Absolutely – Esplanade is brilliant. I also “discovered” Paul Taylor only 3-4 years ago and my relationship with his choreography is very much a love – hate relationship. The first time I saw the company I almost walked out 2/3 of the way through the program. They started with Offenbach Overtures, which my husband and I both hated followed by Snow White – which we detested. We debated making a quick exit after Snow White but decided to wait out the intermission and stay for at least the first 5 minutes of the last piece. Well, we were both spellbound through Promethean Fire, which I’ve now seen probably 6-7 times since. I’ve seen a lot of Taylor since then, partially because I’m combing through his repertoire looking for another dance the equal of Promethean Fire or Esplanade, both of which I consider to be unqualified masterpieces. Their $15 tickets allow me to take in pretty much as many performances as I like, and it also helps that their season doesn’t compete with NYCB or ABT!

I may be ambivalent about the choreography, but I just love the dancers he has right now. Duckstein and Trusnovec are my favorites among the men, so I look forward to seeing Duckstein in Esplanade this weekend. I caught a couple performances at the very start of the season before heading out on a business trip and was pleased to see Annmaria Mazzini in some new roles this season. She and Parisa Khobdeh are my current favorites among the women, but really all of his dancers are wonderful.

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After Paul and nysusan's endorsement of 'Esplanade'--I looked and found a description of the Work---I think I have seen clips of this Work...If I am not mistaken, Taylor uses the Bach Double violin concerto---Perhaps if he hadn't used "Balanchine's Music" I could view this work without any prejudices---but Concerto Barocco is so embedded in my head that I could never appreciate another conception...

I agree he has some wonderful dancers in his Company---this was true especially in the beautifully lyrical 'Roses'. In the first part he used five couples; the women wearing black sleeveless floor length dresses with billowing skirts. From the program notes, I could not identify any of the couples; although I wish I knew the lead couple who were so admirable. Lisa Viola was in the second segment (she is so unique, and easy to identify) She was dressed all in white and her partner was Tresnovec. She was a disappointing contrast to the first couple; Viola is more suited to the athletic and dramatic, rather than the poetic. But, I am learning....and I will be wary of the music score.

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I would urge, urge, URGE you to see Esplanade, atm. It's only $15, and they're predicting bad weather this weekend, so you can scratch that walk in the park and head to City Center instead. A friend of mine, as fervent a Balanchinist as you or I, actually prefers Taylor's treatment of the slow movement. I wouldn't go that far. The two are completely distinct, and Esplanade's first three movements are to a different concerto, so by the time you get to the Barocco music, you're already into Esplanade. :flowers:

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I'm with carbro. Concerto Barocco is probably my favorite ballet & I adore Esplanade. It's too different to make a comparison. Only some of the music is the same.

In fact, if they did a program of CB & Esplanade every night for the rest of time, I'd be there every night for the rest of time.

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Four people whose opinions I respect are urging me to see 'Esplanade'--but I will save it for Taylor's next visit---this weekend I will be delving into Stoppard's 'Coast of Utopia'---snow and all....

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Thanks for the push---I can't make it this weekend--but I just reserved a tape of 'Esplanade' from the Library. :)

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