As Terry mentioned, the Paul Taylor program I saw Sunday night at the College of Du Page’s McAninch Arts Center included Taylor’s great 2002 dance “Promethean Fire.” The other dances on the program were “Klezmerbluegrass,” in its world premiere, and “Dante Variations,” another new dance that premiered earlier this year. This was my second time seeing Taylor’s company at the comfy McAninch Center. Despite the longish drive from Chicago, it’s a nice place to see a performance. There’s not a bad seat in the house.
“Klezmerbluegrass” was vivid and delightful, alternating jubilant sections danced by the ensemble with more wistful solos and duets. The group parts reminded me of two of my all-time favorite dances, Eliot Feld’s “The Jig Is Up” and “Skara Brae,” both of which are set to traditional Irish music and make me want to dance all the way home. The ensemble parts of “Klezmerbluegrass” had that same care-extinguishing exultation about them, which never felt very far away, even during the most brooding solo. Commissioned by the National Foundation for Jewish Culture (with support from the McAninch) to commemorate 350 years of Jewish life in America, Taylor’s new dance convincingly celebrates the capacity of the communities we form to blunt the occupational angst of individual existence. It doesn’t, much to its credit, pretend that they can cure it.
I have more to say about the other two dances on the program, especially “Promethean Fire,” but it will have to wait a bit. I’m blogging sub rosa right now, and I don’t want to push my luck….