Above: Michelle Fleet in Paul Taylor's PIAZZOLLA CALDERA; photo by the late Tom Caravaglia
Tuesday March 24th, 2015 - The tonight's programme, my final opportunity to see the Paul Taylor Dance Company during their current Lincoln Center stint, featured two works I'd seen earlier in the season: SUNSET and EVENTIDE, plus the darkly alluring PIAZZOLLA CALDERA.
SUNSET, with its off-duty soldiers and a quartet of white-clad girls, is set to music by Edward Elgar with a nostalgic feeling and to a central section where only the sounds of loons crying is heard. There are playful passages - Aileen Roehl gets tossed daringly from man to man - but the overall atmosphere is pensive, with fleeting possibilities of romance. The men march off to duty, leaving the girls downcast. In a high-lighted role, Eran Bugge was superb; she is left at the end clutching a red beret which one of the soldiers has dropped.
Above, from EVENTIDE: James Samson, Laura Halzack, Francisco Graciano, and Heather McGinley in a Paul B Goode photo.
I really fell under the spell of EVENTIDE during this Taylor season. This romantic work, with its melodious Vaughan Williams score, was poetically danced tonight. A series of duets presents us with the opportunity to savor the expressive qualities of ten of the Company's distinctive artists while in ensemble passages the simple act of walking takes on a poignant resonance.
Above: the Taylor men in PIAZZOLLA CALDERA; photo by Paul B Goode
PIAZZOLLA CALDERA premiered in 1997, drawing Paul Taylor into the world of the tango. The tango grew out of many musical influences - Spanish, Italian, Indian, African and Jewish - and reached a height of artistic expression in the music of Astor Piazzolla. For his ballet, Paul Taylor avoided using any actual tango steps but was able magically to distill the essence of this exotic dance form. In a smoke-filled, dimly lit and disreputable bar, working-class men and women meet to dance and imbibe in a steamy after-hours atmosphere. They pose, provoke, titillate, and deny each other in a series of sexually fraught duets and trios.
Parisa Khobdeh showed a vivid mixture of tension and allure in a commanding performance; she drifted in and out of a pas de trois with Eran Bugge and Robert Kleinendorst, later seizing the stage for herself. In a sexy/drunken duet, Francisco Graciano and Michael Apuzzo seemed alternately on the verge of kissing or knifing each other, while the sizzling pairing of Michelle Fleet and Michael Trusnovec gave fresh meaning to the word "electrifying". PIAZZOLLA CALDERA was the perfect finale for an evening of great dance, and the crowd went wild at the end of the show.