PAUL TAYLOR AMERICAN MODERN DANCE: SET RESET/MERCURIC TIDINGS/EVENTIDE
March 17, 2018
As the audience members filled the seats in the David H. Koch Theater, the energy in
the house vibrated with excitement for the evening’s first work, SET AND RESET,
choreographed by Trisha Brown. SET AND RESET, originally performed
in1983 by the Trisha Brown Dance Company, is a whirlwind of holistic undulations that span
the fullest range of muscular motion that the human body can reach. There is something
fascinating about witnessing movement being knocked over and watching it tumble across the
stage that is omnipresent throughout Brown’s choreography. Brown’s work also has an earthy
and satisfying groundedness that emanates from the widely-spread toes and supported, open
positions inherent in modern dance.
Regarding the set, the wings projecting from the sides of the stage were made with
sheer fabric whose translucent touch gave the audience a sneak peek into the professionalism
that continues to go on ‘behind the curtain’ in the midst of a performance. The technological
additions to Brown’s work were nostalgic, bringing to screen good-old-boy images and a
cacophony of sounds from the world of black and white television and World War II.
In the second movement, EVENTIDE, the work of Mr. Paul Taylor elegantly glided its
way across the stage and into the hearts of the audience. The dancers began their work with a
promenade in the round; five couples steadily keeping time to the live strings of Ralph Vaughn
Williams’ Suite for Viola and Orchestra. With each step, the five couples moved along the floor
in sync, taking care to lift each of their legs only so much as to allow the weight of the foot to
slide along the floor beneath them in what felt like a luscious appreciation for the hypnotic
beauty that walking can impress. The caress of the floor with each of the dancers’ footsteps
was mirrored by the touches shared between the couples, their purposeful lunges shifting their
bodies’ weigh in a balanced and easy fashion.
The first duet, Carol, danced by Michael Trusnovec and Parisa Khobdeh was
remarkably refreshing. The dancers’ boundless energy riffed off of one another in a complex
volley of playful petit allegro that moved across the floor with coiled springs and bright, clear
technique. Through their piercing mutual eye contact and gregarious, flirty smiles, it was clear
that Trusnovec and Khobdeh enjoyed moving Taylor’s technically-challenging choreography
through their bodies. The articulation of the feet of both dancers was impeccable and utilized in
such a sprightly manner that both dancers should be proud to have done grand justice to the
living history of dance.
The rose-colored backdrop and soft-petaled light played
against the aptly-tailored cream-colored costumes, and provided a gorgeous landscape
through which the five couples were free to express their love for one another, while reminding
the audience that beauty is found in all forms of motion, static and active.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Brandon Kazen-Maddox