Dance: The Tolkien of Choreographers

Paul Taylor's new work: virtuosity at 1,000 r.p.m.

Back in the '60s when the Paul Taylor Dance Company traveled to the hinterlands, people mistook the troupe for the June Taylor Dancers from the Jackie Gleason Show. The confusion ended at curtain time. Then, instead of metronomic chorines, the stage was peopled with muscular, disciplined dancers falling, posturing and accelerating to everything from Bach to Cage. Dressed as Elizabethan figures or satyrs in evening clothes, or in nothing more than bath towels, the company disturbed as many as it dazzled.

Since those days, the...

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