THEATER | DANCE | CLASSICAL MUSIC | OPERA | COMEDY

NORTH TEXAS PERFORMING ARTS NEWS

REVIEWS

Michael Novak and&nbsp;<span>Laura Halzack</span>

Review: Paul Taylor Dance Company | Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts


Dance After Death

Paul Taylor Dance Company offered a stunning tribute to its late founder at the Eisemann Center last weekend.



published Thursday, February 14, 2019

Photo: Paul Taylor Dance Company
Michael Novak and Laura Halzack

Richardson — Paul Taylor’s death in August 2018 left the dance community mourning, not only for another creative mind and warm spirit lost but for another twentieth-century modern dance pioneer gone, with very few left. Fortunately before he passed, he established Paul Taylor American Modern Dance, which would present not only his works at New York’s Lincoln Center but also those of early modern dance history and up-and-coming dancemakers. Many historic modern companies have adopted versions of this trifold effort to preserve and cultivate the art form, so as the trailblazers continue to pass on, their contributions still breath life.

While Paul Taylor Dance Company will travel with new commissions, artistic director Michael Novak treats this season of touring as a tribute to the diversity of Taylor’s body of work. Out of the 147 dances in the repertoire, he chose twenty-four to tour this year, with Richardson being the first stop. The Charles W. Eisemann Center has had a close relationship with PTDC since opening its doors in 2002, and the Feb. 9 performance marked the ninth time they’ve hosted the company.

An exquisite lineup of dances delivered the emotional range of a fulfilling narrative. A pleasing, clear opening jumped to the quirky and humorous, then the audience was swept up in intrigue and spice before the evening ended with breathtaking and profound unity. As programs go, it was a most stunning arrangement.

Aureole, one of Taylor’s early works from 1962, highlighted the simplicity and precision typical of mid-century modern dance. Five dancers in white costumes against a colored cyclorama deftly maneuvered through shapes of extended limbs and spiraling torsos, with various allegro traveling phrases sprinkled throughout. Sean Mahoney’s stunning solo exuded traditional modern technique qualities with utterly satisfying results. Joyful and upbeat, yet tempered enough to match the balanced Baroque music from George Frideric Handel, they engaged the audience and each other with delightful facial expressions.

That human aspect was nowhere to be seen with the amusing 3 Epitaphs (1956), in which the five cast members donned full-body gray suits with a mesh-like texture, and round mirrors placed on their covered heads, almost resembling a fly. A recording of the Laneville-Johnson Union Brass Band playing a raw, early New Orleans jazz song matched their weighted slumped, slinking postures. As they interacted with each other, their awkward shapes seemed miles away from the pristine choreography of the previous piece, but their transitions and clarity demonstrated cohesion regardless of style.

After an intermission, the curtain rose on a textured crimson background with lights suspended from above. The twelve-member cast, divided into men’s and women’s groups, stood motionless for the audience to take in the stimulating picture. Ladies clad in floral dresses that revealed stockings contrasted nicely with the men’s dark pinstripe pants and black tops and vests.

Tango music by Astor Piazzolla and Jerzy Peterburshsky provided the mood for flirtation, seduction, resistance, and conflict, but although those are key facets in tango dancing, no steps from the Argentinian form appeared. Tight-knit ensemble segments broke into partnering, and a loose narrative thread featuring Parisa Khobdeh emerged. Displays of loneliness, passion, and searching shone through a sultry pas de trois with Eran Bugge and Robert Kleinendorst and various solo moments.

The piece contained much more complex choreography than the previous two works, but the dancers maintained their commit to clear, connected execution, with dazzling ensemble precision. The dance picks up speed with quick percussion, rapidly-moving partnering and ensemble segments, double cartwheels, and even swaying lights. Even with the dizzying picture, the dancers revealed effortless, impeccable qualities.

Following a second intermission, Promethean Fire (2002) proved the greatest of the evening. Johann Sebastain Bach’s Toccata & Fugue in D minor (played with strings rather than the organ) began before the curtain rose, setting an ominous tone. A slow, dramatic curtain lift unveiled the entire 16-member cast dressed in black unitards with a gold V-pattern repeating along the length of the body. Although the music communicated uncertainty, the dancers displayed a fierce serenity.

Motifs from previous works repeated, with much of the cast appearing on stage the majority of the dance. It’s difficult to pinpoint a singular stunning moment, as each change of shape and quality exhibited its own breathtaking aesthetic, whether it was the unison choreography, the traveling lifts, or adagio with underlying resistance. Michael Trusnovec and Khobdeh delivered a beautiful duet complete with a heart-stopping leap and catch. Logical repetitions, visually-impressive canons and contrasting tempos added a marvelous depth and complexity, before closing with a dramatic, unified picture of hope and strength. Thanks For Reading





Dates, Prices, & Other Details

Comment on this Article

Share this article on Social Media
Click or Swipe to close
Dance After Death
Paul Taylor Dance Company offered a stunning tribute to its late founder at the Eisemann Center last weekend.
by Cheryl Callon

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Celebration of Dance Stomp Ezralow Dance Everything is Wonderful Tuck Everlasting MCL Grand Fool for Love theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Teatro Dallas Meadows at the Winspear Disaster UNT College of Music TCU MCL Grand KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Celebration of Dance Stomp Ezralow Dance Everything is Wonderful Tuck Everlasting MCL Grand Fool for Love theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Teatro Dallas Meadows at the Winspear Disaster UNT College of Music TCU MCL Grand KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Celebration of Dance Stomp Ezralow Dance Everything is Wonderful Tuck Everlasting MCL Grand Fool for Love theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Teatro Dallas Meadows at the Winspear Disaster UNT College of Music TCU MCL Grand KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Celebration of Dance Stomp Ezralow Dance Everything is Wonderful Tuck Everlasting MCL Grand Fool for Love theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Teatro Dallas Meadows at the Winspear Disaster UNT College of Music TCU MCL Grand KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Celebration of Dance Stomp Ezralow Dance Everything is Wonderful Tuck Everlasting MCL Grand Fool for Love theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Teatro Dallas Meadows at the Winspear Disaster UNT College of Music TCU MCL Grand KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Celebration of Dance Stomp Ezralow Dance Everything is Wonderful Tuck Everlasting MCL Grand Fool for Love theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Teatro Dallas Meadows at the Winspear Disaster UNT College of Music TCU MCL Grand KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Celebration of Dance Stomp Ezralow Dance Everything is Wonderful Tuck Everlasting MCL Grand Fool for Love theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Teatro Dallas Meadows at the Winspear Disaster UNT College of Music TCU MCL Grand KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Celebration of Dance Stomp Ezralow Dance Everything is Wonderful Tuck Everlasting MCL Grand Fool for Love theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Teatro Dallas Meadows at the Winspear Disaster UNT College of Music TCU MCL Grand KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Celebration of Dance Stomp Ezralow Dance Everything is Wonderful Tuck Everlasting MCL Grand Fool for Love theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Teatro Dallas Meadows at the Winspear Disaster UNT College of Music TCU MCL Grand KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Celebration of Dance Stomp Ezralow Dance Everything is Wonderful Tuck Everlasting MCL Grand Fool for Love theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Teatro Dallas Meadows at the Winspear Disaster UNT College of Music TCU MCL Grand KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Celebration of Dance Stomp Ezralow Dance Everything is Wonderful Tuck Everlasting MCL Grand Fool for Love theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Teatro Dallas Meadows at the Winspear Disaster UNT College of Music TCU MCL Grand KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Celebration of Dance Stomp Ezralow Dance Everything is Wonderful Tuck Everlasting MCL Grand Fool for Love theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Teatro Dallas Meadows at the Winspear Disaster UNT College of Music TCU MCL Grand KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Celebration of Dance Stomp Ezralow Dance Everything is Wonderful Tuck Everlasting MCL Grand Fool for Love theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Teatro Dallas Meadows at the Winspear Disaster UNT College of Music TCU MCL Grand KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Celebration of Dance Stomp Ezralow Dance Everything is Wonderful Tuck Everlasting MCL Grand Fool for Love theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Teatro Dallas Meadows at the Winspear Disaster UNT College of Music TCU MCL Grand KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Celebration of Dance Stomp Ezralow Dance Everything is Wonderful Tuck Everlasting MCL Grand Fool for Love theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Teatro Dallas Meadows at the Winspear Disaster UNT College of Music TCU MCL Grand KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Celebration of Dance Stomp Ezralow Dance Everything is Wonderful Tuck Everlasting MCL Grand Fool for Love theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Teatro Dallas Meadows at the Winspear Disaster UNT College of Music TCU MCL Grand KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Celebration of Dance Stomp Ezralow Dance Everything is Wonderful Tuck Everlasting MCL Grand Fool for Love theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Teatro Dallas Meadows at the Winspear Disaster UNT College of Music TCU MCL Grand KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Celebration of Dance Stomp Ezralow Dance Everything is Wonderful Tuck Everlasting MCL Grand Fool for Love theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Teatro Dallas Meadows at the Winspear Disaster UNT College of Music TCU MCL Grand KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Celebration of Dance Stomp Ezralow Dance Everything is Wonderful Tuck Everlasting MCL Grand Fool for Love theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Teatro Dallas Meadows at the Winspear Disaster UNT College of Music TCU MCL Grand KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Celebration of Dance Stomp Ezralow Dance Everything is Wonderful Tuck Everlasting MCL Grand Fool for Love theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Teatro Dallas Meadows at the Winspear Disaster UNT College of Music TCU MCL Grand KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie
Click or Swipe to close
reviews
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
audiocasts
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
contests
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
crowdfunding
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
studio
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web



Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:


Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:


TheaterJones Section:


Category:
Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Search
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  



Your Name:
Your Email Adress:


please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :
Submit