Season of Taylor

Sean Mahoney of Paul Taylor in Perpetual Dawn. Photo by Paul B. Goode.
Sean Mahoney of Paul Taylor in Perpetual Dawn. Photo by Paul B. Goode.

Another Paul Taylor season has ended at Lincoln Center. The company is looking fine, and the theater seemed well-filed on all but one of my forays. The dancers put an an impressive twenty-three works over the course of three weeks. But such diversity comes with a down side—not every piece holds up, especially when seen alongside Taylor’s best. It turns out there are a lot of run-of-the-mill Taylor dances. But then, you see something like Black Tuesday or Cloven Kingdom or, in its own bizarre way, Byzantium, and are once again amazed by this man’s imagination. How does Taylor come up with Byzantium, with its archaic priestly figures and orgy scenes? Taylor’s imagination is a mystery, and we like it that way.

I reviewed the season here, for DanceTabs.

And here is a short excerpt: This was “the company’s final New York appearance as a purely Taylor-centered enterprise. As of next year, it will transform itself into a mixed repertory troupe, performing the works of other modern-dance-makers alongside those of Taylor. This is a major transformation, and one that is not easy to envision at this point. Which choreographers will be represented? How will the works be chosen? How will they look on these particular dancers, so practiced in the fluidly athletic, muscular style Taylor has honed over many decades? How will his dancers feel about the change?”

Mark Morris’s “L’Allegro” Returns

Lauren Grant and Maile Okamura in Mark Morris's "L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato." Photo by Kevin Yatarola.
Lauren Grant and Maile Okamura in Mark Morris’s “L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato.” Photo by Kevin Yatarola.

As part of the spiritually-minded “White Light” festival at Lincoln Center, the Mark Morris Dance Group is performing Morris’s L’Allegro, Il Penseroso ed il Moderato, from 1988. The ebullient work is spiritual in the best sense: it lifts the spirit. Made in the first year of the company’s residence at La Monnaie opera house in Brussels, it reflects the choreographer’s delight at the resources at his command: a spacious stage, singers, full orchestra, endless rehearsal time. Twenty-five years later, it still feels fresh. Here’s my review, for DanceTabs.

And a short excerpt: “Throughout the piece, the mood and focus shifts from darkness to light, from the joys of nature to the hubbub of urban life, from animal instinct to human folly, architecture to philosophy. In one of the dance’s most blissful passages, set to the poem “As Steals the Morn Upon the Night,” ribbons of dancers trace lines across the stage….The rhythm of their motion remains steady. We feel implicated in the dance.”

American Ballet Theatre is Leaving City Center

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that “American Ballet Theatre will announce Wednesday that it has signed a three-year deal to perform at the David H. Koch Theater, starting in October 2013 with a two-week season.”
That means the end of City Center seasons, though the decision won’t affect the Met season or the Nutcracker run at BAM. Still, it’s a big change. More fallout from City Opera’s desertion of Lincoln Center.