Sunday, March 20, 2005

Paul Taylor Dance Company

Today's matinee was special. It was the last performance in New York this year and with this being the company's 50th anniversary and Patrick Corbin dancing his last dance (as the head of City Center explained, he's now the newest member of the Taylor alums), the audience was emotionally charged as the curtain first rose. Throughout the theater were previous company members and their enthusiasm gave the proceedings an extra energy boost.

C and I were sitting in the 12th row, dead center, so C was happy. I had a head in front of me that kept the left side of the stage fairly well blocked, but he didn't move much, so I didn't need to bob and weave to see most of the dancing. And at that distance, I couldn't see facial expressions or even tell many dancers apart, but we'd gotten front row seats 3 or the 4 times, so I can't complain.

Corbin danced in the first dance, "Black Tuesday," which is set to depression-era music. Everyone was sharp and Corbin's solo at the end on "Brother Can You Spare a Dime?" was very moving. "Klezmerbluegrass" was making its NYC premiere. This was a dance I was looking forward to seeing and was billed as "celebrating 350 years of Jewish life in America, where Jews have long been part of the fabric of the nation's cultural life." It was much more Klezmer than bluegrass, except for the fiddles in the music, and the dancers were amazing. Maybe they were dancing exceptionally well because the newer members have finally meshed with the veterans of the company, or because of the emotional aspects of the anniversary, or because of the former dancers in the audience, or all of the above, but they were a wonder to watch.

"Esplanade," a pretty, energetic dance (lots of falling, rolling, leaping, and catching) set to Bach's Violin Concerto in E Major and Double Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor (Largo & Allegro), was as good as I've ever seen it. Corbin danced it, his last dance. What followed was amazing and C and I were so glad to be there for it.

Corbin got flowers: bouquets that were tossed onstage and the bouquet presented to him. Then all the former company dancers in attendance were announced and went onstage. It was so nice seeing so many old favorites like Elie Chaib, Hernando Cortez, Mary Cochran, Kenneth Tosti, Tom Patrick, David Parsons. It was a real love fest. C and I started going to Taylor together in either the late -'70s or very early-'80s, so we've seen Corbin for all the years he's been in the company, from 1989 to now.

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I meant to have some requested photos up to celebrate Cyber Chocolate, Jr's one-year-anniversary, which means my one-year blogging anniversary, but I've been too busy, so maybe next weekend. This blog will be up a year in August, and I'd really like to do something special, so start thinking of things you'd like to see. Hmmmm.... maybe I should conduct a poll. It's almost time to change the one I have up here, anyway.

I've also been having sporadic problems getting Haloscan to open (my computer and it don't get along at times), so if I haven't commented on someone's blog who has Haloscan, it's not that I'm ignoring you. Sometimes, I just can't get it open.