Dance: Scenes from Heaven and Hell

Paul Taylor premieres two strong modern works in Manhattan

A circle of tender lovers. A mound of human flesh, limbs dangling askew. A metaphor that combines fertility and civility. An image of doom and despair. It is a tribute to Paul Taylor's burgeoning imagination that in two new pieces premiered at Manhattan's City Center Theater, he has choreographed a pair of utterly different works, not so much contrasting as reflecting separate meditations on the human condition.

The Paul Taylor Dance Company, formed 30 years ago, is often described as the last true modern dance group, before the movement divided into various postmodern strands. If energy, cohesiveness and a deeply shared...

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