With this GrouponLive deal, you get to see the Paul Taylor Dance Company at Lincoln Center's David H. Koch Theater. For $56, you get one ticket for seating in one of the following areas (up to a $112 value, including all fees):
- Rows A–C or G–O of the center orchestra section
- Seats 1–4 or 101–117 in rows B–F of the first ring
Nineteen shows are available between Thursday, March 7, and Sunday, March 24. Click here to see which dance pieces will be performed at each date and showtime.
Milestones and anniversaries abound in the Paul Taylor Dance Company's 2013 repertoire, which blends bold new work with favorites from a seven-decade career. Since 1963, Scudorama's purgatorial "dance of death" has tapped into the anxiety that colored its debut in the wake of the Cuban missile crisis. Brandenburgs (1988) exuberantly counterpoints six concertos of Johann Sebastian Bach with Taylor's masterworks of choreography (each evening's program features one). The season isn't entirely bound to the past, however: audiences also can savor the world premiere of To Make Crops Grow, which focuses on a village reviving an ancient ritual. Full descriptions of all 21 pieces in the 2013 repertoire can be found on the PTDC website.
When Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps premiered in 1913, its music and dance so shocked the audience that a riot almost ensued. Paul Taylor approached his 1980 adaptation with similar ambitions. Accompanied by Stravinsky’s stripped-down two-piano arrangement, Taylor updates Nijinsky’s ballet with labyrinthine mystery and escalating tension. A dance company rehearses a detective-story ballet based upon a true-life crime, but fantasy and reality soon blur for the private eye, the distraught dame, and the gang of crooks. The Washington Post hailed the dance-noir whodunit as “deliciously berserk.”
The mating rituals of insects are not so different from those of humans, as this comedic fantasy demonstrates. Clad in bright-green costumes complete with wings and antennae, female dancers seduce their male counterparts to the jovial sounds of Smetana's The Bartered Bride. The dance steps start as sprightly imitations of blue-bottle flies and dragonflies—but take on an increasingly sinister and predatory edge. The playful insect mimicry was declared a “veritable hoot” by the New York Times.
Taylor’s exuberant romp through the WWII era also showcases the choreographer’s gift for poignant dualities. Set to the boogie-woogie songs of The Andrews Sisters, the dance crackles as young lovers jubilantly jitterbug and polka on the home front—even as the specter of war looms on the horizon.
Speaking in Tongues unflinchingly examines the dark underbelly of a small town’s religious fervor, having lost none of its fire-and-brimstone physicality in the 25 years since its debut. Set to Matthew Patton's chilling score and interspersed with sound bites from evangelical broadcasts, the Emmy Award–winning dance follows a magnetic yet haunted preacher and the townspeople he leads.
Paul Taylor Dance Company
Newsweek's Laura Shapiro once offered a succinct history of American modern dance: "In the beginning there was Martha Graham, who changed the face of an art form and discovered a new world. Then there was Merce Cunningham, who stripped away the externals and showed us the heart of movement. And then there was Paul Taylor, who let the sun shine in." The last living member of this homegrown pantheon, Taylor has not finished innovating yet, adding new pieces each year to a prolific catalog of 138 dances. Romantic, iconoclastic, dauntingly athletic, and sometimes hilarious, his works heft weighty topics such as war, spirituality, sexuality, and mortality onto their shoulders, then alchemize them into weightless dances that seem to exist for the sheer pleasure of their beauty.
Among his countless accolades, the champion choreographer has received a Kennedy Center Honor, the National Medal of Arts, and the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship “genius award.” Such a rich and prolific body of work makes it easy for the Paul Taylor Dance Company to harvest a unique program for each performance, which they have done in 520 cities throughout 62 countries.