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Paul Taylor
American Modern Dance

Sunday, March 25, 2018 2:00 PM

Location: David H. Koch Theater

Musical Offering

Choreography by Paul Taylor  |  Music by Johann Sebastian Bach

In 1747, Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, asked J.S. Bach to compose a fugue based on the king’s own music; Bach responded with A Musical Offering, built entirely on that “excellently beautiful” royal theme. Some 240 years later, unfazed by how revered Bach’s final chamber work had become, Paul Taylor used it as the score for one of his most profound dances: a requiem. A woman whose life is being celebrated introduces the work’s movement vocabulary, the primitive look of which was inspired by wood sculptures from New Guinea. The ensemble mourns her imminent passing by rocking, their arms crossed at times in the ancient burial pose. In the poignant climactic duet, the woman’s partner tries desperately to prevent her leave-taking. A final glorious lift propels her ascent to the afterlife.

Runes

Choreography by Paul Taylor

“A major creation… The enormous pathos that arises in the final moments of [this striking heroic poem], when all the elements of the piece are combined and restated and still the momentum leaps ahead – this pathos comes from the unstoppable energy of what Taylor has set in motion.” – Arlene Croce, The New Yorker

Mercuric Tidings

Choreography by Paul Taylor  |  Music by Franz Schubert

The Greek god Mercury was the messenger for all the gods. He would bring information to both gods and men. The word Tidings is a word that best translates as information that is brought to you. Mercuric Tidings therefore refers to the information or messages that are being brought to you by the god Mercury.

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