PAUL TAYLOR'S AMERICAN MODERN DANCE-Sunset/Eventide/Pizaaolla Caldera
March 31, 2015
Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance presented some classic Taylor pieces Tuesday evening at the David Koch Theater in Lincoln Center. The program opened with “Sunset.” A group of young soldiers prepare to leave for war but not without saying a farewell to their ladies. Red berets cling to their heads, as the gentlemen leap across the stage consecutively. A few lively ladies that are thrown into the air and lifted onto shoulders join them. As they dip and spin, the fun suddenly becomes their new reality. A solider drops his hat as the group of guys exits upstage. One woman scurries behind to retrieve it; she clutches it to her chest, a simple moment of truth that reads as wrenching as it did during the premier in 1983.
Taylor’s minimalist and haunting “Eventide,” followed. A landscape of willowy trees rest upon the backdrop. Five couples weave throughout the space, tracing the others steps, evocative in intention and resigned in emotion. They don’t carry the feelings through their faces, but in the way they touch one another. Soft but direct, firm yet soothing. A series of pas de deuxs offers glimpses into memories, tastes of different tempos and fluidity. One couple carries more ballon in their jump while another stays grounded with the earth. As the couples pass each other in the final scene women and men separating, a twinge of fear wonders if they’ll ever move together again.
The final piece of the evening is Taylor’s show-stopping “Piazzolla Caldera.” At once sexy and smart, this tango with technique spices up the ambiance. Parisa Khobdeh is the leading role, is a siren with a twist. She captures attention and imagination with the stomp of her heel and the flick of her foot. Various couples swizzle through the space arm in arm. A male couple bends and flips on top of each other, rolling over time and again to establish control. However it’s never found. The intrigue rests in the uncertainty of the outcome, the music powers up and the dancers always follow. The passion continues right up till the last moment, as Khobdeh hits the floor, winded and empty.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Bailey Moon