Legendary choreographer Paul Taylor brings his company, celebrating its fiftieth anniversary, to the MCA, presenting two programs this weekend. A protégé of Martha Graham and a MacArthur fellow, Taylor has a gargantuan appetite for dance vernaculars. The programs this weekend show off his range, from the modernist ballet (or balletic modernism) of “Promethean Fire” to the fiery tango of “Piazzolla Caldera” to the blend of Jewish and Appalachian folk dance in the new “Klezmerbluegrass.” To my mind, Taylor achieves his finest work in conversation with popular idioms. Taylor’s work is characterized by conflicting impulses toward intense expression and a classical rigor visible most in his taste for symmetry. While his affinity for Bach (who provides the score for “Promethean Fire”) and other Baroque composers is thus no surprise, such music actually seems to tempt Taylor into his weaker impulses to melodrama. His settings of popular songs and dances display an altogether tougher aesthetic sense. In either case, though, Taylor continually deploys his dancers in explosive, gymnastic movement. Leaping, scissoring, pinwheeling and creeping across the stage, his exquisitely trained company weaves the disparate threads of Taylor’s choreography into a pattern of joy. (John Beer)
This production is now closed.