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Paul Taylor -- Free performances

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Paul Taylor's Company will give two free performances at this summer's Lincoln Center Festival:

Paul Taylor Dance Company

Friday, August 03, 2007 8:00 PM

Damrosch Park Bandshell

Program: Book of Beasts, Lines of Loss, Esplanade.

Saturday, August 04, 2007 8:00 PM

Damrosch Park Bandshell

Program: Airs, Profiles, Troilus & Cressida, Piazzolla Caldera.

Last March there were a number of favorable comments regarding Esplanade (Bach) on a Paul Taylor thread. I'd also add Airs (Handel) and Piazzolla Caldera (Astor Piazzolla) to the must-see list.

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Piazzolla Caldera is lovely. One of my favorites... and free now at that! I'm going to try to make it up to the city to see the performance on the 4th...

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When I saw the subject header for this post--"Free Paul Taylor"--my immediate reaction was, "oh no, was he arrested too"?

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When I saw the subject header for this post--"Free Paul Taylor"--my immediate reaction was, "oh no, was he arrested too"?

I changed it to avoid that sort of confusion and to add this River-To-River Festival date, program still TBA, but to include a New York premiere.

PLACE: Battery Park

DATE: Sep 08, 2007

TIME: 7:30pm

PRICE: Free

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Ray, go stand in the corner.

Figurante - fair warning, the performance may be free, and it's fun, but Damrosch Park - like most outdoor stages) is not the greatest place to see dance; the angles are wrong and instead of being focused by a proscenium, your vision is diffused by being outside. PTDC's City Center season is not very expensive in March, or at least they make a point of having cheap seats available. Come up and see the company then as well, if you can.

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PLACE: Battery Park

DATE: Sep 08, 2007

TIME: 7:30pm

PRICE: Free

Thanks, carbro, for clarifying my '60s slip-of-the-tongue!

The Joyce has posted the program on their site:

PAUL TAYLOR DANCE COMPANY

Evening Stars at Battery Park

Sat, Sep 8 ... Audiences will have the opportunity to see one of The Joyce's 25th Anniversary Commissions with De SueƱos ("Of Dreams"), a surrealistic dreamscape referencing Mexican culture and folklore as the Day of the Dead and the Deer Dance. In Polaris (1976), the choreography of the first section is repeated step for step in the second, but performed by different dancers, to different music and with different lighting in the second section, with fascinating results. The program is completed by Company B (1991), set to hits of the Andrews Sisters, is a distillation of 1940s Americana tempered by the shadows of GIs dying in World War II....

6:30pm Battery Park opens to the public

7:30pm Show Begins

Bring your blanket and or a lawn chair as no chairs are provided.

Ticket Price FREE

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I hope others were there tonight--my view was slightly blocked off on the left and right by the two people sitting directly in front of me, and Leigh is right about the stage being terrible for dance, but it was a very enjoyable performance. I even enjoyed watching the dancers warm up on stage shortly before the performance! It's not difficult to get a seat up close to the stage if you're there a couple hours earlier when they start letting people into the seating area. You might not be able to see the feet, but if you're short like me, it may be the only way to see anything going on.

I'm still baffled by Book of Beasts, but the latter two works were worth the wait. Everyone is right about Esplanade; I don't think I've seen another group of dancers perform with such abandon and energy. I wonder how much longer Lisa Viola plans on dancing with this company; she's an absolute treasure and I hope there are many more years to come from her. Annmaria Mazzini is another favorite of mine.

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I was there too, and it was a lovely evening.

The afternoon rain broke the oppressive heat, and the thunderstorm (but not distant lightning) held off until after the performance ended. In the interim, we enjoyed (usually) a sweet, mid-summer breeze. Perhaps this was an answer to the dancers' pleas to the "deity" figure in Book of Beasts. :tiphat:

The humor and whimsy of Book was followed by Taylor's newest piece, the dark, serious Lines of Loss. (No photos on the website yet, but credits are available at the very bottom of this page.)I didn't like it when it premiered last spring, but it seemed shorter tonight. I have written elsewhere on this board that I have a problem with ballets to multiple composers, and this is no exception. However, Annmaria Mazzini again showed us her strong theatrical presence and absolute commitment to the moment.

And yes, Esplanade, one of the great works of the 20th century, sent everyone home feeling just fine, thank you! Lisa Viola, whom I have had a hard time warming up to, seemed sparklier tonight in the "running" solo. Of course, anyone who ever saw Carolyn Adams in her original role -- even on video -- will always have a hard time accepting anyone else.

As noted at the top of this thread, tomorrow's is a different program. I wish I could go. Will you be there, Old Fashioned? If so, I hope you'll report.

I had planned originally to stake out my seats sometime between 6:00 and 6:30, but partly due to the changeable weather, I didn't get there until about 7:00 -- ordinarily very late to get a good seat. I did just fine, although my friend who arrived just moments later and took the seat beside mine had trouble after the second ballet when a latecomer (or mover) took the empty seat in front of her. But it was a much better behaved than the boors I had to endure the previous night, when Arlo Guthrie opened the festival. Is there a mellower soul on earth than Arlo? I wonder how he drew so many hostile and rude people :devil::wink: . I had to remember that I was there to have a good time, and set my determination that no one would stop me.

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Talk about ambivalence! The River-to-River Festival, which is (according to the pre-program announcement) the longest summertime festival in the country, is an ambitious and noble effort. Four months (plus?) of free performances by some of the finest artists around. But it is a difficult venue to enjoy dance.

The stage is very high, and the lawn slopes downward, so we have a reverse rake. Also, many people arrived very early and seated themselves on lawnchairs right behind the reserved section. The effect of this was to make the dancers invisible from the waist down -- unless (as we ultimately did) you move to the back of the gathering and stand. (From there, the dancers looked like ants.) We were also disturbed, during the opening piece (Polaris) by three very rude fellows who came well more than an hour after we did, spotted som unoccupied ground near us, and tramped back and forth in front of us, one throwing several backpacks to his friends, missing my head and my friend's by inches. When my friend complained, she was called rude! I don't expect the same decorum at out-of-doors events that I do in the concert hall, but please! :)

De Suenos, in its New York Premiere (sans set), is probably not major Taylor, but I enjoyed it. We first see a peasant woman, a bucket just downstage of her. Having heard that this was a "surrealistic" ballet, I momentarily cringed, recalling Taylor's surrealistic Images :) , which is very creepy and also features a bucket. But not to worry. The cast is comprised of peasants, Toltec or Mayan deities, a death figure and some member of the deer family, portrayed by Michael Trusnovic in a beautifully rendered, ultimately poignant solo. I look forward to seeing it again next spring at City Center, where it's safe (I hope) to assume that backback tossing will be held to a necessary miniumum.

The evening closed with Company B, which is a whole different experience when you're standing, free to step and sway with the ants on stage and the Andrews Sisters. :speechless-smiley-003:

Edited by carbro
to add italicized clarification.

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Carbro, your story about the boorish behavior of some audience members reminds me yet again of why I don't go to free, outdoor performances. While it's nice to have 'dance for everyone' or 'opera for the masses' these are not venues for serious watching & listening. If a few new devotees are won over to the art forms through these offerings, that's great. However all my experiences have been that the inattention and bad manners of a few louts spoil everything.

Not that paying for your seat and trying to choose a location at the Met or NYS Theatre where you can concentrate eliminates all such distractions - not by a long shot - but the odds are a little better that you'll get something out of the performance.

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Yes, 5 minutes into the performance I remembered why I avoid this venue whenever possible. There was no ballet whatsoever on the schedule this year so it was easy to avoid until last night. The only thing that tempted me out this time was the prospect of seeing 2 Taylor favorites that they're not doing at City Center this year (Polaris & Company B). Despite obstructed views, the evening was a pleasant one only because I remembered last season & went there with the expectation of enjoying a pleasant evening under the stars and getting to see a little dance. If my primary purpose was to have a good view of the dance I would have been very dissapointed. I'm sure De Suenos will never be a favorite, but I'm equally sure that it will look better at City Center!

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