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Paul Taylor's American Modern Dance: Cloven Kingdom, Last Look, Arden Court
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Paul Taylor's American Modern Dance: Cloven Kingdom, Last Look, Arden Court

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Paul Taylor Dance Foundation

Paul Taylorís American Modern Dance
551 Grand Street
New York, NY, 10002

Phone: 212.431.5562
Fax: 212.966.5673

(Taylor American Modern Dance Website)

Paul Taylor, Artistic Director
Music Director, Donald York
Featuring the Paul Taylor Dance Company

Music Performed Live by:
Orchestra of St. Lukeís

Paul Taylor, President, Board of Directors
C.F. Stone III, Chairman, Board of Directors
Bettie de Jong, Rehearsal Director
John Tomlinson, Executive Director
Jennifer Tipton, Principal Lighting Designer
Santo Loquasto, Principal Set & Costume Designer
Lisa Labrado, Director of Public Relations

Michael Trusnovec, Robert Kleinendorst, James Samson,
Michelle Fleet, Parisa Khobdeh, Sean Mahoney,
Eran Bugge, Francisco Graciano, Laura Halzack,
Jamie Rae Walker, Michael Apuzzo, Aileen Roehl,
Michael Novak, Heather McGinley,
George Smallwood, Christina Lynch Markham

In Performances at the David H. Koch Theater
At Lincoln Center

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
March 28, 2015 Matinee

(See Other Taylor Company Reviews)

Paul Taylor grew up near Washington, DC and studied dance at Juilliard. He first presented his own company and original choreography in 1954. For seven years, he was a soloist with the Martha Graham Dance Company and continued to create dances for his own company. In 1959 he was a Guest Artist and danced with the New York City Ballet, and, since 1975, he has concentrated on his choreography. Mr. Taylor has won dozens of awards, such as the National Medal of Arts from President Clinton in 1993, a 1992 Emmy Award for Speaking in Tongues, and a 1992 Kennedy Center Honor. He was elected to Knighthood by the French Government and in 2000 was awarded Legion díHonneur for contributions to French culture. (Program Notes). He has received numerous honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degrees from prestigious colleges, including Skidmore, where I first met him, many years ago. The Paul Taylor Dance Company, now under the umbrella of Paul Taylorís American Modern Dance, is a sought after troupe and tours extensively around the globe.

Cloven Kingdom (1976):Music by Arcangelo Corelli, Henry Cowell, and Malloy Miller (Combined by John Herbert McDowell), Choreography by Paul Taylor, Womenís Costumes by Scott Barrie, Headpieces by John Rawlings, Lighting by Jennifer Tipton, Performed by the Company.

Taylorís 1976 Cloven Kingdom is another of my top favorite works from this brilliant choreographer. The buoyancy and bravura of the twelve member ensemble is astounding. John Rawlingsí glowing headpieces that catch Jennifer Tiptonís strobe design, worn with Scott Barrieís uniquely colorful, flowing dresses, bring bits of light all over the walls of the theater in motion matching the choreography. The men wear tuxedos, dancing in classical refinement, then primal posture. The blended score of Corelli, Cowell, and Miller shifts from regal to raucous, from sophisticated to frenetic. This was the first time Iíd heard the score performed live, interesting with clopping percussion. Mr. Taylor quotes Spinelli, ďMan is a social animal.Ē, and Michael Trusnovec, Michael Apuzzo, Michael Novak, and George Smallwood create wide-armed, wing-like, cloven hoof-like, synchronized dance, evocative of Petipaís four, synchronized Cygnettes in Swan Lake. Over the decades Iíve seen balletic quotes in Taylorís works. This one is more than clear, with menís heads swiveling and legs galloping, like horses or gazelles. Aileen Roehl dashes with balletic leaps across the stage, men tumble over each other, and two men join as one four-hoofed animal. Kudos to all..

Last Look (1985): Music Composed for the Dance by Donald York, Choreography by Paul Taylor, Set and Costumes by Alex Katz, Lighting by Jennifer Tipton, Performed by the Company. Once again, this Taylor Season, Donald York conducted his own work, composed for the 1985 Last Look. The vertical mirrors that reflect the psychic longings, self-doubt, and fear of the characters onstage Ė the dancers as actors - also somewhat reflect the audience, itself, depending on the angle. There are, as in many of Taylor's dances, stark contrasts of staging and choreography, and, in this case, dancers pile up as a mountain of grief and then dance solo, in extended existentialism or disengaged existence. The bright colors of Alex Katz' costumes stand out against Katz' mirrored set, and the silhouetted lighting effects are thanks to Jennifer Tipton in collaboration with Paul Taylor's concept. The cast of nine, in silky robes, tumble as addicts. Michael Trusnovec and Parisa Khobdeh are involved in some abusive drama, before Mr. Trusnovec leaps over women and seems repulsed by his own visage in the mirror. The work is dark and psychological, imbued with layers of analytic possibilities. Iíd love to know what Mr. Taylor was thinking when he created this piece.

Arden Court (1981): Music by William Boyce (Excerpts from Symphonies Nos. 1, 3, 5, 7, 8), Choreography by Paul Taylor, Set and Costumes by Gene Moore, Lighting by Jennifer Tipton, Performed by the Company. After seven full programs, during the run of three weeks, I began and ended the Season with Taylorís 1981 Arden Court, one of my favorite works. This must have been karma. Revisiting a favorite work allows the viewer to relax and focus on details, such as Gene Mooreís pastel, polka-dotted unitards and giant, floral rose backdrop, that shifts from peach to pink, with Jennifer Tiptonís lighting, the varied shapes of wide open arms, and the partnered couples that make the most of the live, William Boyce score. Kudos to all.

Kudos to Paul Taylor, who always takes a bow with his Company, clapping for them.

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at