"Mercuric Tidings,” “Polaris,” and “Esplanade”
Paul Taylor Dance Company
J.F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
May 25, 2016
by Alexandra Tomalonis
copyright 2016 by Alexandra Tomalonis
Much contemporary choreography depends on novelty: here’s something new, push aside the old, it seems to be saying. Paul Taylor, the last great Modern Dance choreo- grapher, and a true rebel if ever there was one, does something better. His finest mid-career works – some revolutionary in their day, others merely great – have deepened and become richer over the years, and his current company dances them with a ferocious passion. The company’s four-day run at the Kennedy Center this past week was not only filled with excellent dancing, but it looked like a renewed version of the troupe in its greatest days – a real modern dance company, focused on movement and music rather than technical purity. (It’s interesting, too, to note that the company was billed here as simply Paul Taylor Dance Company; in New York, it’s Paul Taylor American Modern Dance. PTAMD includes works by other choreographers; the six dances shown in Washington were all by Taylor.)
Photo: Eran Bugge and Michael Trusnovec in "Esplanade."