Piazzolla Caldera

Completely in love with “Piazzolla Caldera” by @paultaylordancecompany tonight!!! 😍😍😍

A gorgeous tango (and waltz!) that blends beautifully with modern movements, this choreography is going right up there with my other all-time favorites!

On Sunday, I wrote about Esplanade, a stunning piece of work about the joy of dance. Paul Taylor dancers moved with so much spirit, so much heart, and so much energy. Even from the audience’s seats, we could feel the dancers’ passion, welcoming us onto the stage, inviting us to join the celebration. I didn’t think another choreography could possibly live up to the expectations of Esplanade. Yet, Piazzolla Caldera did tonight.

I’ve always enjoyed how Paul Taylor seamlessly merges concert dance with vernacular dance forms — bringing out not just the best of both worlds, but creating something unique, remarkable, and extraordinary in the process.

His group movements often remind me of contra dance patterns (on crack!). There are the polka mazurka steps in Eventide, lindy hop and polka in Company B, swing in Black Tuesday, disco in Changes, and so on.

Piazzolla Caldera is the most exquisite of such a fusion that I’ve seen so far.

The tango was absolutely beautiful, including the 12-person movements in the opening scene, the subsequent solos and duets. I never imagined that tango could be danced in such a manner. The piece retained the intensity, attitude, and connection traditionally associated with tango. Staying true to the dance form’s roots, two men even had chest-to-chest lead-follows!

Yet, the work inserted even more energy, dynamic, and theatricality into tango (as if tango needed any, but apparently it could!!!) with leaps, turns, upper body gestures, and more.

My favorite part, you ask?

Back in 1913 and 1914, when Argentine tango was first introduced to the US, New Yorkers used to dance tango to triple-time waltz music, creating a tango-waltz fusion known as “Hesitation Waltz.” Midway through Piazzolla Caldera, the music transitioned from 4/4 tango music to 3/4 waltz music. Replacing the hesitation step with by modern movements, Paul Taylor created a new modern-tango-waltz fusion. Mind blown! WOW!!!


Paul Taylor Dance Company: Absolutely Wonderful performance tonight on my first of five (or more!) visits to their season at the Lincoln Center.

Absolute looooovoed “Eventide”!!! The choreography tells the stories of five couples.

I love the emotions and the human experience in the stories. The beautiful bond between Jamie Rae Walker and Sean Mahoney in “Christmas Dance.” The exuberant, affectionate, honeymoon-like “Moto Perpetuo” filled with dynamic movements between Heather McGinley and Michael Novak. The elusive love, the missed connection between Eran Bugge and Robert Kleinendorst. The care for each other, but also the heavy weight in the relationship between Parisa Khobdeh and Michael Trusnovec.

I also love the movements, which included numerous steps from historical and social dancing (e.g., polka mazurka!), elegantly choreographed into the narratives, and beautifully executed on stage.

As a dance photographer, I thought the lines in Eventide were goooorgeous. The lifts, dips, arm and leg extensions, couples coming together, spinning around each other, the facial expressions, the connections, the patterns created by five couples. The choreography is filled with moments after moments that would make a stunning photo.

Closing the night, “Mercuric Tidings” was powerful, energetic, filled with amazing leaps and turns. Its plotless “music visualization” was a huge contrast to Eventide that preceded it.

Opening the night, “Set and Reset” by the Trisha Brown Dance Company was lovely in its opening scene. I loved how fluid the piece felt. The dancers moved freely across the stage, gently connected as they passed each other, spun around each other, and from time to time, effortlessly lifted each other into the air. The choreography became somewhat repetitive in the second half though, and I never quite got the connection between the movements and the four overhead video projections.

Overall though, it was a wonderful program. Can’t wait to go back again tomorrow for the TaylorNext Night!