the Beginning, Houston to New York
In the Beginning
Paul Taylor Dance Company
New York, NY
Tuesday, March 9, 2004
© 2004 by George Jackson
published March 15, 2004
Has In the Beginning changed since it was premiered by Houston
Ballet on April 9, 2003? There are differences in emphasis, but the choreography
of Paul Taylor's Creation comedy is much the same as before. What about
delivery of the text by people who speak ballet as opposed to those who
talk modern dance?
What struck me most during the Houston run in Washington was the role
of God. It had force and power as well as humor and, yes, humanity. Dominic
Walsh and alternately Lucas Priolo endowed Jehovah, as the character is
called, with exceptional gravity. It looked like a part Taylor himself
might have performed once upon a time. Also, it harkened back to the tradition
of the danseur mur, the mature classical dancer who impressed by the grandness
of his bearing, the gravity of his walk and didn't have to vow the viewers
with his agility in variations. When that Jehovah's foot swept into the
air, the force seemed so strong that some of the earth might be pulled
up with it.
On Tuesday, Andy LeBeau's put upon Jehovah was deliciously funny but did
not threaten to tear the world asunder. Taylor undoubtedly wants it that
way, for the character doesn't stand aside as much but becomes part of
the scene like your local rabbi. This allows the two Adam and Eve duets—one
with the apple, before the fall from grace and the other, the procreative
one after the fall—to become highlights. The work's final section
still seems an abrupt ending and belies its title, Unto Dust Returned.
Rather than a death scene it seems a lullaby after a wearying journey
In the Beginning was danced full throttle between a sumptuous
Airs and a stiletto Piazzolla Caldera. The Paul Taylor
Dance Company is in great shape.
other reviews of the Paul Taylor City Center season:
night gala (Susan Reiter)
Program A (Leigh Witchel)
Program B (Mary Cargill)
Program C (Nancy Dalva)
Volume 2, Number 11
published March 7, 2004
©2004 by George Jackson
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