Posts Tagged ‘Paul Taylor’

All in the Family: Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance Company

The dance company founded by Paul Taylor in 1954 returned for their annual season (March 10-29) to the former New York State Theater, but it returned under a different name: Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance Company. This is significant. New to the company’s title are the words American and Modern. Taylor, now 84 years old and considered the surviving grand master of American modern dance, appears to be concerned about the health of his chosen genre. With his company’s new title comes a new mission: to present works by other choreographers, both young and old, who are perceived to be part of the American modern dance family tree.

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Dance as a Luxury Product: the Post 9/11 Environment

The Slovak National Dance Congress 2014 recently asked me to speak about the state of New York City dance. Since I’ve been living in New York City on and off since 1979, I felt up to the task. In the following slides (which have been converted into a movie), I tease out the changes that have occurred for New York City concert dancers following 9/11. What I found most striking (and dismaying) in my research was that the U.S. capital of Terpsichore is increasingly recognizing dancers and dance organizations not as the obvious—as artists and art groups—but as brands for luxury consumption.

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Formalism in U.S. Dance

We are living in the age of the male choreographer, again. Seventeenth and 18th century ballet masters were traditionally male and the acknowledged great names in ballet—Petipa, Fokine, Massine, Balanchine, Ashton, Tudor, MacMillan, Cranko, and now Ratmansky—are all men. Modern dance, on the hand, was until recently the domain of the female choreographer. (Think Isadora Duncan and Martha Graham.) Yet modern dance, which is now called contemporary dance, no longer boasts as many strong female choreographers as it did in its heyday (1910 to 1960). What happened to the predominance of powerful, highly visible female choreographers?

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