“Icons Night” presented by Paul Taylor American Modern Dance featuring Trisha Brown and Isadora Duncan. What a wonderful evening!!!
“Esplanade” by the Paul Taylor Dance Company was absolutely stunning.
I’ve seen the piece before, but watching it from first row orchestra was a completely different experience. It was incredible to see the facial expressions on the dancers, and to be only feet away from the the amazing actions.
In the opening scene, with much energy and spirit, eight dancers ran in circles, skipped, rolled, flew across the stage, and weaved in and out of intricate patterns. I love not just the exuberance of the individual dancers but also the connection between them, as they created the most happy and uplifting experience on stage… a celebration… a festival… devoted to the joy of dance.
Michelle Fleet opened (and later closed) the choreography. Overflowing with positive energy, her body language said to the audience: Don’t you blink and miss a single moment!!! With a big smile and much warmth, Eran Bugge welcomed the audience, invited us to join the celebration, and experience the joy of dance together with the dancers. The mood on stage eventually changed, and Heather McGinley brought intense emotions into the piece.
Saving the best for the last, the final scene of Esplanade was a non-stop sequence of stunning movements, aerials, runs followed by slides across half of the stage, spectacular leaps and sensational mid-air catches.
The most incredible thing about the closing sequence (and why I looooove this company) is that all the movements were initiated from the center of the body. The dancers fell into the movements as if pulled by gravity. Unlike ballet, where dancers fight gravity in order to stay balanced, stand tall, and take off from the ground, here the Paul Taylor dancers “simply” let gravity take over. Their movements looked remarkably natural. Yet, as they were pulled off balanced, they gained so much momentum that they were able to zoom across the stage, propel themselves into the air, throw themselves onto the ground, into each other, and bounce right back… and not hurt themselves!
As I watched “Set and Reset” by Trisha Brown for a second time tonight, the choreography grew on me. I still loved the overall feel of the piece: fluid, dynamic, organic. Being able to see the dancers’ expressions, how they relate to one another, made me appreciate the piece so much more. The beauty of the piece, much of it in the subtle details of how the dancers interacted rather than the overall patterns, came pouring out tonight. Bravos to the Trisha Brown Dance Company for a lovely performance!!