Paul Taylor Dance Company | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Paul Taylor Dance Company


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At 74, Paul Taylor is still making musically luscious, emotionally complicated dances--and lots of them, their common threads his clean style and classic theatrical presentation. Though Taylor made brief forays into radicalism (in 1957 he performed a motionless solo that prompted a four-inch blank review by Louis Horst) and his work is being presented this weekend by the Museum of Contemporary Art, it's far from avant-garde. But that's the worst you can say about it. Each of the three newish dances I saw on tape was very different from the others. Promethean Fire, set to three pieces by Bach and reportedly a response to 9/11, is stately, formal, and musically precise, its huge cast wheeling about the stage and re-forming into statuesque groupings yet never losing their humanity, particularly the sense of joyful effort. Eventide, set to Ralph Vaughan Williams, vastly reduces the scope of the human, focusing on couples whose worlds are made up of small gestures--a glance, a hug, ceremonially entwined arms. Piazzolla Caldera captures the look and perverse sensuality of the tango but mixes things up, taking off on formal tangents: when two men dance together, the tango's intersecting lines are transformed into what amounts to a highly acrobatic but gentle wrestling match. The program on Thursday and Saturday evening consists of the new Klezmerbluegrass, 1982's Lost, Found and Lost, and Piazzolla Caldera. The lineup on Friday night and Saturday afternoon is the new Dante Variations, Eventide, and Promethean Fire. Opens Thu 6/2, 6:30 PM. Through 6/4: Fri 7:30 PM, Sat 2 and 7:30 PM. Museum of Contemporary Art, theater, 220 E. Chicago, 312-397-4010. $40. The Thursday performance is part of a gala benefit event for the museum that begins with a reception at 5:30 PM and concludes with a dinner; tickets start at $150. Call 312-799-3509.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Lois Greenfield.

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