Friday, February 18, 2011

Learning about dance from my son

Paul Taylor's choreography has a truly American energy and freshness, despite the fact that the man is 80, now.

Dancing for a packed audience at Delhi's Siri Fort on February 18th, his company, Paul Taylor 2, slipped and slid, ran in circles of joy, and in one exquisite, transcendent pas de deux, explored small and large, flitting and fixed, fast and slow, with the diminutive Madelyn Ho an angelic, joyful butterfly to the largest male dancer in the corps.

If the tiny Wu epitomised the cliche of Oriental grace, her Latina colleague, Alana Allende, had a boundless, sometimes explosive energy that seemed to come from the Andean jungles to the Delhi stage, with only the briefest stopover in New York city. In contrast, the male dancers, superbly strong and talented, lacked orchestral colour. A renewed vote for the melting pot.

As a sidelight, I asked my 12-year old son what he made of the show, he said, "It was quite boring, but at least I learned that you can tell a story through dance." Considering that this was expressionist dance, not narrative, I think that was an evening well-spent in his cultural education!

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