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TAYLOR DANCES | GUEST CHOREOGRAPHERS | GUEST ARTISTS

TAYLOR DANCES

ARDEN COURT

Opus Number:  73
Music:  William Boyce
Set and Costumes:  Gene Moore
Lighting:  Jennifer Tipton
Date First Performed:  April 15, 1981
Notes:  “One of the few great art works created in [the 20th] century… exploring a new movement field of love and relationship. The women dance into the men’s arms as if Shakespeare had only written Romeo and Juliet the day before yesterday. I am convinced that this is one of the sentimental works of our time… something extraordinary in the history of dance. It bounces to a different drummer.” – Clive Barnes, New York Post

Arden-Court_rep1

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Arden-Court-rep2

Photo: Paul B. Goode

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BANQUET OF VULTURES

Opus Number:  123
Music:  Morton Feldman
Costumes:  Santo Loquasto
Lighting:  Jennifer Tipton
Date First Performed:  October 29, 2005
Notes:  “Paul Taylor might be the only American choreographer I would trust with the subject of war, and Banquet of Vultures is one of his most jarring and effective works… The choice of music is Taylor’s genius stroke… what one might have heard at Abu Ghraib.” – Paul Horsley, Kansas City Star

Photo: Tom Caravaglia

Photo: Tom Caravaglia

Photo: Tom Caravaglia

Photo: Tom Caravaglia

CHANGES

Opus Number:  128
Music:  Songs sung by The Mamas & The Papas
Costumes:  Santo Loquasto
Lighting:  Jennifer Tipton
Date First Performed:  April 22, 2008
Notes:  The 1960s began in a spirit of unbridled optimism, with Americans electing the youngest President ever. That optimism was short-lived, dashed by assassinations, race riots and the nation’s tragic involvement in the Vietnam War. Changes revisits that time through songs of the iconic folk/rock group, The Mamas and The Papas. The opening section reveals snippets of popular dance steps as an announcer introduces the vocal group at a rock concert. After we’re reminded that this was the era of “free love,” the dance grows dark with sections about an impending earthquake, hallucinogenic drugs and the growing radicalization of young people as they defied authority and embraced liberation movements. In a dream sequence, a boy learning from a father figure hurts himself and is comforted by the older man. The dance climaxes with an anthem of the era, “California Dreamin’”, uniting the disillusioned young people. A program note states that while we remember the turbulent ’60s as unique, in fact they were not – 40 years later the country is again involved in an unpopular war amid demands for change, indicating that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

“A spellbinding time capsule of the Californian 1960s… The dancers’ re-enactment of the ’60s in an extraordinary feat of acting. The costumes and wigs are deliciously period… It travels from episode to episode, each depicted and shaped with mastery, all vivid and different.” — Alastair Macaulay, New York Times

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

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CLOVEN KINGDOM

Opus Number:  63
Music:  Arcangelo Corelli, Henry Cowell, and Malloy Miller
Costumes:  Women’s Costumes by Scott Barrie, Headpieces by John Rawlings
Lighting:  Jennifer Tipton
Date First Performed:  June 9, 1976
Notes:  “Man is a social animal,” said Spinoza. Just below the surface of humans’ civilized veneer lurks an animal nature that cannot be ignored. The scene is a cotillion ball where members of high society are dressed in formal attire – the gentlemen in tailcoats and the ladies wearing gowns and mirrored headpieces. A baroque score vies for dominance with urgent, percussive 20th-Century music, reflecting the struggle between our gentler and more savage natures. As primitive impulses emerge, the women plant seeds and bear progeny, while the men seem no longer to wear tails but bear tails. They prance and stalk on all fours, and their totemic friezes suggest the prehistoric ancestors from whom we have descended. Although the dance ends on a triumphant note with social structures intact, it has become clear that we are not separate from animals, we are animals.“A sharp comedy of manners [about] the conflicting natures within people and, more specifically, the darker side that surfaces under the veneer of gentility. Revealing their true selves, the dancers turn humorously grotesque. The writhe as well as waltz, they crawl as well as glide. There’s so much movement-invention that it is hard to take everything in.” – Anna Kisselgoff, New York Times

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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EVENTIDE

Opus Number:  105
Music:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
Set and Costumes:  Santo Loquasto
Lighting:  Jennifer Tipton
Date First Performed:  February 25, 1997
Notes:  “The American spirit soars when Taylor’s dances and dancers meet, but rarely has it reached the sublime heights of this piece. It is a paean to remembered love, with couple after loving couple looking back even as they embrace an unknown future… It is bittersweet but, typical for Taylor, also optimistic and uplifting. An American masterpiece.” – Octavio Roca, San Francisco Chronicle

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

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GOSSAMER GALLANTS

Opus Number:  135
Music:  Bedřich Smetana
Set and Costumes:  Santo Loquasto
Lighting:  Jennifer Tipton
Date First Performed:  November 19, 2011
Notes: Using movement inspired by insects, the dance offers a comedic view of mating rituals, in which the female of the species is often the stronger, predatory partner.

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

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MERCURIC TIDINGS

Opus Number:  76
Music:  Franz Schubert
Costumes:  Gene Moore
Lighting:  Jennifer Tipton
Date First Performed:  April 20, 1982
Notes:  “Danced for the sheer joy of it, the controlled expenditure of animal energy, poetry expressed as a time and motion of study, young people cavorting with the kinetic propensities of young godlets.” – Clive Barnes, New York Post

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

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MUSICAL OFFERING

Opus Number:  85
Music:  Johann Sebastian Bach, orchestrated by Anton Webern and Frank Michael Beyer
Set and Costumes:  Gene Moore
Lighting:  Jennifer Tipton
Date First Performed:  April 8, 1986
Notes:  In 1747, Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, asked Johann Sebastian Bach to compose a fugue based on the king’s own music; Bach responded with A Musical Offering, built entirely on that “excellently beautiful” royal theme. Some 240 years later, unfazed by how revered Bach’s final chamber work had become, Paul Taylor used it as the score for one of his most profound dances: a requiem. A woman whose life is being celebrated introduces the work’s movement vocabulary, the primitive look of which was inspired by wood sculptures from New Guinea. The ensemble mourns her imminent passing by rocking, their arms crossed at times in the ancient burial pose. In the poignant climactic duet, the woman’s partner tries desperately to prevent her leave-taking. A final glorious lift propels her ascent to the afterlife.“One of the most extraordinarily reverberant dances of our time… Taylor’s choreography has never seemed more profoundly inspired by its music, never more confident in its subtle shifts of tome and never richer in its radiant humanity… The piece flows with uncommon ceremonial splendor.” – Allan Ulrich, San Francisco Examiner

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

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PIAZZOLLA CALDERA

Opus Number:  106
Music:  Astor Piazzolla and Jerzy Peterburshsky
Set and Costumes:  Santo Loquasto
Lighting:  Jennifer Tipton
Date First Performed:  June 12, 1997
Notes:  Neruda wrote of poetry that mirrors “the flawed confusion of human beings,” poetry “worn away as if by acid by the labor of hands, impregnated with sweat and smoke, smelling of lilies and of urine, splashed by the variety of what we do, legally or illegally… as impure as old clothes, as a body, with its foodstains and its shame, with wrinkles, observations, dreams, wakefulness, prophecies, declarations of love and hate, stupidities, shocks, idylls….” He might have been describing the predatory dance that originated in the brothels of Buenos Aires at the turn of the 20th Century: tango. The music of tango – with Spanish, Italian, Indian, African and Jewish influences – was taken to new heights by Astor Piazzolla. Without a single authentic tango step, Paul Taylor captures the essence of tango culture. In a dimly lit dive, working class men and women confront each other in sizzling sexual duets and trios: men with women, men with men and women with women. Two men too drunk for conquests perform a loopy dance as lamplights sway dizzily overhead. A woman who has searched desperately for a partner but failed to find one, collapses – as if mortally wounded by a night without passion.“Stunning. Taylor looks at the attitudes implicit of the tango – as sexual game, as social identity – and reshapes them. Seethes and flares with sexuality and develops a huge erotic charge. One of Taylor’s most astonishing (even for him) creations.” – Clement Crisp, Financial Times of London

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

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PROMETHEAN FIRE

Opus Number:  116
Music:  J.S. Bach, orchestrated by Leopold Stokowski
Set and Costumes:  Santo Loquasto
Lighting:  Jennifer Tipton
Date First Performed:  June 6, 2002
Notes:  Set to three keyboard works by Bach as richly orchestrated by Stokowski, Promethean Fire examines a kaleidoscope of emotional colors in the human condition. All 16 Taylor dancers, costumed in black, weave in and out of intricate patterns that mirror the way varied emotions weave themselves through life. A central duet depicts conflict and resolution following a cataclysmic event. But if destruction has been at the root of this dance, renewal of the spirit is its overriding message. A program note quotes Shakespeare, from Othello: Promethean fire “that can thy light relume.”“It has grandeur, majesty and a spiritual dimension. It is also quite simply one of the best dance works choreographed by Paul Taylor. …[The dancers] are building blocks in the human cathedral that Mr. Taylor constructs uncannily and perfectly with such powerful emotional resonance.” – Anna Kisselgoff, New York Times

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

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ROSES

Opus Number:  82
Music:  Richard Wagner and Heinrich Baermann
Costumes:  William Ivey Long
Lighting:  Jennifer Tipton
Date First Performed:  April 10, 1985
Notes:  “Beautiful in its visual effects, poetic in its natural flow of movement. The piece is an ode to tenderness and blooms like a flower.” – Anna Kisselgoff, New York Times

Photo: © Lois Greenfield

Photo: © Lois Greenfield

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Listen to Music Excerpt

RUNES

Opus Number:  62
Music:  Gerald Busby
Costumes:  George Tacet
Lighting:  Jennifer Tipton
Date First Performed:  August 13, 1975
Notes:  “A major creation… The enormous pathos that arises in the final moments of [this striking heroic poem], when all the elements of the piece are combined and restated and still the momentum leaps ahead – this pathos comes from the unstoppable energy of what Taylor has set in motion.” – Arlene Croce, The New Yorker

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Photo: Paul B. Goode

Listen to Music Excerpt

TAYLOR COMPANY COMMISSIONS

UNTITLED New Work by Bryan Arias

Performed by: Paul Taylor Dance Company
Choreographer: Bryan Arias
Music: not yet selected
World Premiere: March 8, 2018*
New York Premiere: March 8, 2018*
*Subject to change

UNTITLED New Work by Doug Varone

Performed by: Paul Taylor Dance Company
Choreographer: Doug Varone
Music: Music by Julia Wolfe
World Premiere: March 10, 2018*
New York Premiere: March 10, 2018*
*Subject to change

Continuum (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”)
Lighting Design:  James Ingalls
Set and Costume Design:  Santo Loquasto
World Premiere: February 11, 2017

HISTORIC MODERN MASTERWORKS – GUEST ARTISTS

Set and Reset

Performed by: Trisha Brown Dance Company
Choreographer: Trisha Brown
Music: Laurie Anderson, “Long Time No See”
Set and Costume Design: Robert Rauschenberg
Lighting Design: Beverly Emmons with Robert Rauschenberg
World Premiere: October 20, 1983
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