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Paul Taylor Dance Company

Photo by Paul B Goode

Photo by Paul B Goode

“Short course in modern dance: in the beginning there was Martha Graham, who changed the face of an art form and discovered a new world. Then there was Merce Cunningham, who stripped away the externals and showed us the heart of movement. And then there was Paul Taylor, who let the sun shine in.” (Newsweek

One of the seminal artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, Paul Taylor continues to shape the homegrown American art of modern dance that he has helped define since becoming a professional dancer and pioneering choreographer in 1954. Described as “America’s most magnificent dancing machine performing America’s most deeply communicative and wildly theatrical modern dance” (San Francisco Examiner) and “one of the few indisputably great dance companies in the world” (New York Post), Paul Taylor Dance Company is the perfect finale to our 15th Anniversary Season! 


William Ivey Long Reveals His New Designs for the Paul Taylor Dance Company (Town and Country Magazine, March 2, 2017)

At 86, choreographer Paul Taylor is still making dances and inspiring loyalty (Sarasota Herald-Tribune, February 19, 2017)


Opus Number:  88
Music:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Costumes:  Santo Loquasto
Lighting:  Jennifer Tipton
Date First Performed:  April 5, 1988
Notes:  “Beauty is the only word for Brandenburgs…[which] celebrates the good things in life. Such a radiant, seamless flow of invention that the choreography seems an entirely natural way of moving to this music.” – Mary Clarke, Manchester [UK] Guardian

Opus Number:  107
Music:  David Israel (commissioned score)
Costumes:  Santo Loquasto
Lighting:  Jennifer Tipton
Date First Performed:  March 4, 1998
Notes:  The New Testament speaks of serving God with reverence and godly fear, “For our God is a consuming fire.” The students at a religious prep school have taken these words to heart. Dressed in identical uniforms that stress their lack of individuality, they conform blindly to a rigid system of beliefs. Their regimented devotion is challenged by an enigmatic, irreverent figure – a succubus – intent on wreaking havoc. The supplicants are haunted by her presence. Following a frenzy of fervor, the work ends with the pious youths marching in lockstep, trailed as ever by the demon.“The message was powerful, the performance so intense and involving that the mesmerized audience let out a sigh of exhaustion when it was over.” – Wilma Salisbury, Cleveland Plain Dealer

Opus Number:  114
Music:  Songs from the Great Depression
Set and Costumes:  Santo Loquasto
Lighting:  Jennifer Tipton
Date First Performed:  April 10, 2001
Notes:  The once mighty jumped to their deaths from skyscrapers, former millionaires sold apples on street corners, and every metropolis sprouted Shantytowns. America was in the grip of the Great Depression – but rather than dwell on its terrible effects, popular culture from Tin Pan Alley to Hollywood celebrated the nation’s can-do spirit. Paul Taylor recalls the valiant souls of the ’30s with a masterwork from his Americana series. He peoples his Shantytown with Vaudevillians and Doughboys, hookers and showgirls, all eking out a meager existence on the streets of the city. Music hall hoofers recall their heyday, down-and-out couples jitterbug down Park Avenue, a pimp continues to hawk his wares, and a newsgirl pretends to slay the big bad wolf that is the Depression. Sections set to “The Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” – the era’s great torch song – and “Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?” – its enduring anthem – powerfully illustrate the tragedy of shattered hopes and dreams.“[Taylor is] still making waves in the dance world with his quirky, beautiful, dark, inventive and visceral work. Black Tuesday, set to songs from the Great Depression, could be added to a file titled, ‘Paul Taylor’s Master Works’. All elements, combined to provide the ultimate experience of seeing a world come to life before your eyes…“ – Susan Broili, Durham Herald-Sun

Program subject to change.

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