Taylor Troupe Here Too Seldom; KenCen Program Whets Appetite

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), March 30, 2009 | Go to article overview

Taylor Troupe Here Too Seldom; KenCen Program Whets Appetite


Byline: Jean Battey Lewis, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The marvelous Paul Taylor Dance Company's three performances of a single program over the weekend gave a brief, tantalizing look at the work of one of the world's supreme dance makers.

The performances in the Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theater were the company's first appearances at the center since 2006.

Mr. Taylor takes us into a different world in each dance he creates, and the worlds in the program's three works were wildly diverse.

The first two - De Suenos Of Dreams ) and De Suenos que se Repiten Of Recurring Dreams ) - shared many features. Set in a hallucinatory, surreal Mexico, they had the same cast of characters, the same glamorous version of a forest background (designed by Santo Loquasto) and a score whose throbbing music was by 11 Mexican composers (from a recording by the adventurous Kronos Quartet).

Both were awash with vignettes, some funny, some poignant. Despite such similarities, Mr. Taylor's creative resources are so vast that he conjured up a different emotional effect in each.

A fascinating set of oddball characters appeared in both works: a deer with sweeping antlers (Michael Trusnovec), a woman in a shimmering gold bodysuit who held astounding balances (Laura Halzack), a beefy transvestite in an ebullient red wig (Robert Kleinendorst), and a mysterious gentleman in black bowler hat and large black glasses (Orion Duckstein) who grinned mysteriously at the audience with only his face visible, like the Cheshire cat.

When all these characters reappeared in the second dance, by some alchemy Mr. Taylor had altered the mood. It was both more slapstick (a man and woman kissed, and to their consternation, a baby doll dropped down between her legs) and more inspiring (another couple danced with the kind of loving, transfiguring grace that the choreographer produces so tellingly). …

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