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"Brandenburgs" and "Beloved Renegade" set to the music of Bach and Poulenc respectively in performances which garnered raves in the City of Light
March 20, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --
Paul Taylor is the last living member of the pantheon that created America's indigenous art of modern dance. At an age when most artists' best work is behind them, Taylor continues to win acclaim for the vibrancy, relevance and power of his recent dances as well as his classics.
The world-renowned Paul Taylor Dance Company has set the global standard for contemporary dance excellence. Since the company's founding in 1954, Mr. Taylor has choreographed 136 dances, many of which have attained iconic status and have been celebrated throughout the world. Taylor has achieved countless accolades, including two of our nation's highest artistic distinctions: the Kennedy Center Honors and the National Medal of Arts.
Great Performances presents two of
Paul Taylor's masterworks on
Paul Taylor Dance Company in Paris on Friday,
May 3 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). The dances were recorded last year at the Theatre National de Chaillot at the Festival Les Etes de la Danse 2012, where the company – a
Paris favorite – dazzled audiences. The engagement in
Paris marks The Company's 50th Anniversary of its first appearance there in 1962.
Brandenburgs, first performed in 1988 to music from Bach's Brandenburg concertos #3 and #6; and his 2008 dance
Beloved Renegade, set to music of Francis Poulenc, are the featured pieces.
Brandenburgs is one of Taylor's magnificent collection of works set to music by a master of the baroque. The dance's exuberance matches the ferocious energy of Bach's spirited concertos.
Mary Clarke of the
Manchester [UK] Guardian wrote, "Beauty is the only word for
Brandenburgs… [which] celebrates the good things in life. Such a radiant, seamless flow of invention that the choreography seems an entirely natural way of moving to this music."
Beloved Renegade is set to Francis Poulenc's "Gloria." The dance was inspired by the life and work of 19th Century American writer
Walt Whitman, who revered the body and soul as one and who famously loved all with equal ardor. It depicts the experiences of an artist described in a line from Whitman's "Leaves of Grass": "I am the poet of the body and I am the poet of the soul."
Scenes from Whitman's life include watching youngsters at play, and tending to the afflicted just as the poet nursed wounded soldiers during the Civil War. After his own mortality is foretold, the poet bids poignant farewell to those who love him. He is then embraced by a benevolent feminine spirit with "the sure-enwinding arms of cool-enfolding death."