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2017 Repertoire

TAYLOR DANCES | GUEST CHOREOGRAPHERS | GUEST ARTISTS

TAYLOR DANCES

AB OVO USQUE AD MALA (FROM SOUP TO NUTS)

Opus Number:  84
Music:  P.D.Q. Bach (Peter Schickele)
Set and Costumes:  Alex Katz
Lighting:  Jennifer Tipton
Date First Performed:  April 1, 1986

Photo: T. Brazil

Photo: T. Brazil

AIRS

Opus Number:  68
Music:  G.F. Handel
Costumes:  Gene Moore
Lighting:  Jennifer Tipton
Date First Performed:  May 30, 1978
Notes:  “Airs is a new and distinctive vintage, of mellowness and classic finish that give it a sublime autumnal glow. Incredibly diversified and complex. The whole work is a treasure.” – Alan M. Kriegsman, Washington Post

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

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BLACK TUESDAY

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

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: © Lois Greenfield

Photo: © Lois Greenfield

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BOOK OF BEASTS

Opus Number:  52
Music:  Schubert, Weber, Saint-Saëns, Mozart, Beethoven, Boccherini, de Falla and Tchaikovsky, transcribed for harpsichord
Costumes:  John Rawlings
Lighting:  Jennifer Tipton
Date First Performed:  July 2, 1971
Notes:  “A sardonic suite that mocks human foibles, medievalism, music and dance conventions in thoroughly beguiling ways. A lovely, fiendishly clever dance.” – Deborah Jowitt, Village Voice
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BRANDENBURGS

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

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

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CASCADE

Opus Number:  110
Music:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Costumes:  Santo Loquasto
Lighting:  Jennifer Tipton
Date First Performed:  July 22, 1999
Notes:  “Cascade glitters. The central section…is one of Mr. Taylor’s most beautiful duets. The two bodies fold in and out of themselves…in choreography that pours out like thick cream. One can see, in this duet particularly, Mr. Taylor’s gift for subtle emotional detail.” – Jennifer Dunning, New York Times

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

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COMPANY B

Opus Number:  96
Music:  Songs sung by the Andrews Sisters
Costumes:  Santo Loquasto
Lighting:  Jennifer Tipton
Date First Performed:  June 20, 1991
Notes:  Just as America began to emerge from the Depression at the dawn of the 1940s, the country was drawn into the Second World War. In a seminal piece of Americana, Paul Taylor recalls that turbulent era through the hit songs of the Andrews Sisters. Although the songs depict a nation surging with high spirits, millions of men were bidding farewell to wives or girlfriends and many would never return from battle. The dance focuses on such poignant dualities. Young lovers lindy, jitterbug and polka in a near manic grasp for happiness while in the background shadowy figures – soldiers – fall dead. Among the sections of the dance, the one choreographed to “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (of Company B)” is carefree until the moment the bugler is shot; the one set to “I Can Dream, Can’t I?” tells of a young lady’s affections for a soldier an ocean away who, for his part, reaches out to a comrade in arms. The dance ends just as it began, with “Bei Mir Bist du Schön” – but the world has clearly changed.“Evokes the exuberant rhythms of the ’40’s as well as the grim and persistent shadow of war. But even more vividly, it honors Taylor’s magnificent dancers. Some of the most glorious dancing to be seen anywhere…” – Laura Shapiro, Newsweek

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

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DANBURY MIX

Opus Number:  90
Music:  Charles Ives
Set:  David Gropman
Costumes:  William Ivey Long
Lighting:  Jennifer Tipton
Date First Performed:  May 12, 1988

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

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ESPLANADE

Opus Number:  61
Music:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Costumes:  John Rawlings
Lighting:  Jennifer Tipton
Date First Performed:  March 1, 1975
Notes:  An esplanade is an outdoor place to walk; in 1975 Paul Taylor, inspired by the sight of a girl running to catch a bus, created a masterwork based on pedestrian movement. If contemporaries Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg could use ordinary “found objects” like Coke bottles and American flags in their art, Taylor would use such “found movements” as standing, walking, running, sliding and falling. The first of five sections that are set to two Bach violin concertos introduces a team of eight dancers brimming with Taylor’s signature youthful exuberance. An adagio for a family whose members never touch reflects life’s somber side. When three couples engage in romantic interplay, a woman standing tenderly atop her lover’s prone body suggests that love can hurt as well as soothe. The final section has dancers careening fearlessly across the stage like Kamikazes. The littlest of them – the daughter who had not been acknowledged by her family – is left alone on stage, triumphant: the meek inheriting the earth.“When I left the theater… I was thinking that I’d seen a classic of American dance. It confers a mythic dimension on ordinary aspects of our daily lives – it’s unfaked folk art. The dancers, crashing wave upon wave into those falls, have a happy insane spirit that recalls a unique moment in American life – the time we did the school play or we were ready to drown at a swimming meet. The last time most of us were happy in that way.” – Arlene Croce, The New Yorker

Esplanade_rep2

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Esplanade_rep2

Photo: Paul B. Goode

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LE SACRE DU PRINTEMPS (THE REHEARSAL)

Opus Number:  72
Music:  Igor Stravinsky (arrangement for piano)
Set and Costumes:  John Rawlings
Lighting:  Jennifer Tipton
Date First Performed:  January 15, 1980
Notes:  “It takes a genius to upstage another genius, and that’s just about what Paul Taylor accomplished in his deliciously berserk dance version of Igor Stravinsky’s hallowed, epoch-making score… Taylor uses this musical masterpiece as if it were simply a fiendishly interesting piece of music… in devising a dance charade of ever so brittle, arch and waspish humor.” – Alan M. Kriegsman, Washington Post

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

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LINES OF LOSS

Opus Number:  125
Music:  Guillaume de Machaut, Christopher Tye, Jack Body, John Cage, Arvo Pärt and Alfred Schnittke
Costumes:  Santo Loquasto
Lighting:  Jennifer Tipton
Date First Performed:  March 2, 2007
Notes:  “Impossible to watch and not be moved to mourning. Lines of Loss is gut wrenching and gorgeous. As you would expect of Taylor, there is much that is beautiful but nothing that it prettified. It is serene one movement, raw and exposed the next.” – Rachel Howard, San Francisco Chronicle

Photo: Tom Caravaglia

Photo: Tom Caravaglia

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LOST, FOUND AND LOST

Opus Number:  75
Music:  Elevator music arranged by Donald York (commissioned score)
Costumes and stage design:  Alex Katz
Lighting:  Jennifer Tipton
Date First Performed:  April 14, 1982
Notes:  In 1957, Paul Taylor presented a single performance of 7 New Dances – a concert that caused most of the audience to leave soon after it began, and Louis Horst, one of his mentors, to publish a celebrated review consisting of nine square inches of blank space. Nevertheless, Taylor felt his collection of postural ABCs had spotlighted the close kinship of posture to gesture, and that the “found” materials from which the dances were made – natural postures, ordinary walking and running – would, when presented on stage, offer a glimpse into a dance-related area that had gone more or less unnoticed. Since 1957 Taylor has occasionally returned to these roots; for example, Esplanade in 1975. One of the 7 New Dances – Events I – became the springboard for Lost, Found and Lost. The dance also features natural postures – such as people waiting impatiently in line, as if at a bank – set to “elevator music.”

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

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PORTS OF CALL

Opus Number: 145
Music: Jacques Ibert
Set and Costumes:  Santo Loquasto
Lighting:  James F. Ingalls
Notes: The ports are Africa, Hawaii, Alaska and Midwest USA.
* World Premiere

SYZYGY

Opus Number:  87
Music:  Donald York (commissioned score)
Costumes:  Santo Loquasto
Lighting:  Jennifer Tipton
Date First Performed:  April 21, 1987
Notes:  Dancers hurtle across the stage like so many celestial bodies orbiting and eclipsing each other.

“Full of utterly brilliant and seemingly disconnected shards of choreography. A full-throttle exercise in physicality, loose-limbed and speedy… It simply continues to increase its velocity, its sense of elfin delight, as the dance goes by. Leaves the audience gasping for more.” – Barry Johnson, The Oregonian

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

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THE OPEN DOOR

Opus Number: 146
Music: Sir Edward Elgar – Enigma Variations
Notes: It features a host and his ten guests.
* New York Premiere

THE WORD

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

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Listen to Music Excerpt

TAYLOR COMPANY COMMISSIONS

Continuum (New Work by Lila York, Commissioned by PTAMD in 2017)

Performed by: Paul Taylor Dance Company
Choreographer: Lila York
Music: Recomposed by Max Richter (based on Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons”)
World Premiere: February 11, 2017*
New York Premiere: March 9, 2017*
*subject to change

Rush Hour (Commissioned by PTAMD in 2016)

Performed by: Paul Taylor Dance Company
Choreographer: Larry Keigwin
Assisted by: Jaclyn Walsh
Music: Adam Crystal
Costumes: Fritz Masten
Lighting: Clifton Taylor
Date First Performed: March 16, 2016
Notes: “The audience rose to its feet to cheer Keigwin’s Rush Hour, and no wonder. The brilliantly designed work gets your pulse racing. Keigwin deploys these superb dancers to convey the pressure and speed of city rush hour”
– Deborah Jowitt, DanceBeat

The Weight of Smoke (Commissioned by PTAMD in 2016)

Performed by: Paul Taylor Dance Company
Choreographer: Doug Elkins in collaboration with the PTDC dancers
Assisted by: Carolyn Cryer
Original sound score: Justin Levine and Matt Stine
Additional music: George Frideric Handel
Costumes: Karen Young
Lighting: James F. Ingalls
Date First Performed: March 17, 2016
Notes: “Marvelously fresh vitality. Not only did [the] closing section give us a view of Mr. Elkins at his liveliest — with strong elements of club/disco dancing and impish comedy, rhythmically exuberant — but it [shows] these remarkable dancers… in new lights. Daft, engaging, it releases the dancers’ high spirits as well as Mr. Elkins’s naughtiness.” – Alastair Macaulay, New York Times

HISTORIC MODERN MASTERWORKS – GUEST ARTISTS

Summerspace

Performed by: Lyon Opera Ballet
Choreographer: Merce Cunningham
Music: Ixion
Set and Costumes: Robert Rauschenberg
Lighting: Ronald Bates
Date First Performed: August 17, 1958
Notes: “The summer part of the title came after the dance was finished, but the notion of space was always present. I fumbled around with steps and written notes about steps, as I often do, but the principal momentum was a concern for steps that carry one though a space, and not only into it, like the passage of birds, stopping for moments on the ground and then going on, or automobiles more relentlessly throbbing along turnpikes and under and over cloverleaves. This led to the idea of using kinds of movement that would be continuous, and carry the dancers into the playing area and out of it.” – Merce Cunningham
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