first published in the Performance Club Blog
"critique as performance"
Letter from Manhattan
Intentional, or coincidental, there are clear correspondences. Seeing the Paul Taylor Dance Company at the Koch Theater is like looking at it though a new lens. The theater is larger, but the dances seems more enclosed. These dances have always been self-contained worlds, but here they seem more so. You can peer in. You can fall in, the way Harry Potter falls into Dumbledore’s pensieve, that stone basin filled with a silver fog of memories. And, as ever, you can make stuff up about the dances. This is delicious, and fun, to let your mind range around inside a repertory, finding things to think about…. Why take Paul Taylor literally, I wonder? People seem to do it, but while he is plain-spoken and unfancy in movement terms, he is a fanciful dance-maker. Macabre, but fanciful.
Social relevance comes and goes; but these dances are always relevant to me. First of all because they are objects of beauty; and second, because they are interesting. (I like thinking about matters like revealment and concealment.) Further, love is always in season, and true evil never goes out of style.