11/10/23 O&A SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: Paul Taylor’s Esplanade (1975)

An esplanade is an outdoor place to walk; in 1975 Paul Taylor, inspired by the sight of a girl running to catch a bus, created a masterwork based on pedestrian movement.

If contemporaries Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg could use ordinary “found objects” like Coke bottles and American flags in their art, Taylor would use such “found movements” as standing, walking, running, sliding and falling. The first of five sections that are set to two Bach violin concertos introduces a team of eight dancers brimming with Taylor’s signature youthful exuberance. An adagio for a family whose members never touch reflects life’s somber side. When three couples engage in romantic interplay, a woman standing tenderly atop her lover’s prone body suggests that love can hurt as well as soothe. The final section has dancers careening fearlessly across the stage like Kamikazes. 

Esplanade- Paul Taylor

Esplanade will close the Paul Taylor Dance Company’s New York State Theater fall season with two performances on Saturday November 11th at 2pm and Sunday November 12 also at 2pm. For more information about the company and the final weekend of performances  Ticket prices for the 2023 season start at $15 and are available at www.boxoffice.dance.  


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