Went to see Paul Taylor Dance Company at the Music Center last weekend. (A friend gave me tickets because I am the luckiest)
All I knew going in is that Paul Taylor is one of the big names of American modern dance, one of the original artists that established the form, and that he’s still at it, “a living legend” as the Music Center’s radio advertisements call him.
It was a program of three pieces:
Airs first performed in 1978. I liked this one, the friend I brought along didn’t, for him it was just pretty for the sake of pretty.
Banquet of Vultures first performed in 2005. My friend found this one very moving, I was crushed under the unrelenting bleakness and didn’t enjoy it as much.
The third was titled Gossamer Gallants, so during intermission we figured this one would be, like, fancy men in chiffon?
No, omygosh, so much better.
It was flies.
And I don’t mean metaphorical flies, I mean like the dancers were wearing unitards with wings down the back and helmets. Not headdresses! Helmets! Attached via chin-strap!Mounted with big buggy eyes and antennae. Rubbing their hands together the way flies rub their front legs, making these great buzzy gestures, chasing all around.
This was my favorite, not for the dance itself (although I did love it) as much as for the fact that it was made at all.
I mean imagine the pitch for this one-
I’m seeing an oval table with a bunch of people bursting into laughter and shouting “Oh Paul! You are hilar! Flies. You are too funny. Can you imagine? Ha!” and then settling down and sipping their coffee and moving on to the next order of business, only to do a spit-take two days later when they see “New Work; Flies” posted on the rehearsal schedule.
And Mr. T being all ‘I am a living legend! I will do whatever the eff!’
Also I love to imagine the fits that were pitched in the dressing rooms when the dancers tried on their helmets and wings for the first time.
And the first dress rehearsal! Which everyone knows is The Time When All Problems With Everything Are Attributed To The Costumes, Even In Productions Where They Are Totally Normal Costumes And Don’t Have Wings Or Antennae.
Man, to be a fly on the wall for that one.
I think this might be the most well-selected mixed program I’ve ever seen, in that it gave us something lovely, something intense, and something so silly it kinda takes the starch out of the other two, makes you re-see them with a new perspective.


About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
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5 Responses to PTDC at LA’s MC

  1. RO says:

    Sounds like a nice performance! Hahaha imagine dancing with a fly costume… Man, that must have sucked balls.

  2. Rori roars says:

    What a coincidence! If traffic gods allow, I shall be seeing Paul Taylor 2 (as in the second company, not text-speak “2”) tonight on the opposite coast. Yay!

  3. Nadine says:

    Your reviews always make me laugh immoderately – YOU’RE a living legend! ;)

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