Lincoln Middle for the Performing Arts, New York, NY.
November 4, 2023.
The Paul Taylor Dance Firm’s 2023 and 11th season on the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Middle ran from October 31-November 12. The season hosted works by 5 choreographers: resident choreographer Lauren Lovette, together with Ulysses Dove, Amy Corridor Garner, Larry Keigwin and Paul Taylor himself. The Taylor firm first got here into existence in 1954, and since then, Taylor created 147 dances. Taylor died in 2018, and since his passing, the corporate has been underneath the creative route of longtime firm member Michael Novak, chosen by Taylor earlier than his demise to guide the corporate.
On the night of my attendance, the corporate carried out Echo (Lauren Lovette), Vespers (Uylsses Dove), and Piazzolla Caldera (Paul Taylor). This system order labored effectively as a result of the primary two items share related features aesthetically, and the final a departure in tone, however not content material. All three items cope with the complexity of being human…its depth and confusion, its dichotomy, its therapeutic and its grace.
Echo, a world premiere this season, is about on all males. Lovette wished to query what it means to be a person in right now’s world and the result’s an intriguing one. Utilizing particular string visitor musicians, Time For Three, she introduced them into the dance by using the raised pit function of the Koch Theater and clothed the musicians in costumes reflective of the dancers onstage. The impact of blurring the visible strains between the music and the dancers fostered the notion of gray areas, not simply black or white. The costumes, by Zac Posen, evoked a Matrix high quality, but when the Matrix additionally had tulle and sparkles – the lengthy skirts and naked chests captured each the ability and the softness to the piece. People are so many issues inside one physique, and this piece confirmed how they will all dwell in live performance with each other, when given the chance.
Grief can also be many issues, as we noticed in Vespers, Dove’s 37-year-old work for all ladies. Additionally clad in black however in a extra somber tenor, the group of six dancers danced to the pulsating percussion of Mikel Rouse. A black stage, aside from using chairs, offered a stark background for the ladies to hurl themselves by means of house, their grief not the weepy selection however that of rage and energy. With extra chairs than dancers, the sense that one thing was lacking was evident. The unity of the ladies all through the piece stitched collectively the myriad phases of grief.
The basic work Piazzolla Caldera closed the present with its homage to tango. Created with out utilizing a single precise step of tango, Taylor evokes the essence of the custom by honing in on the humanity of it — the messiness, the longing, the eagerness and the fireplace. It asks the viewers to be swept away within the spectacle of all of it, whereas additionally requiring the popularity that what we frequently discover most compelling are the cracks in our human facade, the issues all of us have and the way we navigate them.
The Taylor viewers is a faithful one, and their assist was sturdy all through the present. Whereas the home wasn’t completely full, the applause made it sound prefer it was. The power of every ingredient of the efficiency warranted the reception – with new(ish) management and a brand new choreographer, the corporate is poised to stay the stalwart of contemporary dance it has been for many years.
By Emily Sarkissian of Dance Informa.