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World Renowned Paul Taylor Dance Company to Appear at Keene State College

KEENE, NH, 10/7/03 - The world-renowned Paul Taylor Dance Company will present an evening of three dances choreographed by Paul Taylor on Sunday, Oct. 26, at 7:30 p.m. at Keene State College’s Redfern Arts Center on Brickyard Pond. This performance will mark the Company’s second visit to Keene. The program will feature Airs, one of Taylor’s most heralded works, danced to music from G. F. Handel’s Concerti Grossi. Highlights in the dance, which premiered in 1978, are two pas de deux, a charming gavotte, and a high-energy musette danced by the company’s principal dancer, Paul Corbin.

Paul Taylor Dance’s appearance is made possible through funding from the Expeditions program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, which receives major support from the National Endowment for the Arts with additional support from the state arts agencies of New England and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Taylor has been called a genius, a legend, and a cultural icon. Time called him "the reigning master of modern dance," and the San Francisco Examiner declared him "without question the greatest living American choreographer." But Taylor considers himself, above all, a reporter, whose job is to observe the world about him and record his impressions. Twice a year, he dutifully leaves behind his shorefront cottage to enter a dance studio and "report what he has seen."

Whether investing everyday movement with breathtaking beauty or reminding us that we are not as removed from our prehistoric ancestors as we like to think, he rivets us with astonishing inventiveness, poignancy and wit. As prolific as ever after 49 years of choreography, he recently completed his 119th work.

He first burst on the dance scene in 1959, when he danced to great acclaim with New York City Ballet as guest artist in George Balanchine’s Episodes. After retiring as a performer in 1975, Taylor devoted himself fully to choreography. Since then many of his classics have made it to the stage - _Esplanade, Cloven Kingdom, Airs, Arden Court, Lost, Found and Lost, Last Look, Roses, Company B, _and dozens more. Celebrated for uncommon musicality, he has set dances to ragtime and reggae, tango and Tin Pan Alley, time recordings and loon calls; turned elevator music and novelty tunes into high art; and found particularly cooperative collaborators in J.S. Bach and his Baroque brethren.

The second piece on the program is In the Beginning, danced to excerpts from Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana and Der Mond. Premiering last year at London’s Saddler’s Wells, it was commissioned by the Houston Ballet. It’s an off-the- wall trip through the book of Genesis, with a multiplication of Adams and Eves teasing a far from benevolent Jehovah, who forgives them in the end in a rather touching scene of reconciliation. On the way some typically Taylor jokes are mixed with deep emotion.

The third dance is Piazzolla Caldera, which premiered in 1997 with music by Astor Piazzolla and Jerzy Peterburshsky. It is Taylor’s interpretation of modern dance in terms of the tango. Taylor’s interest here is to use the sexy, syncopated tango as the theme for a dance work in his modern style. The tango elements of both sex and aggression are very much in evidence, but so, too, is the often-repeated theme of loneliness.

Tickets are available through the Brickyard Pond box office, 603-3258-2168 or on the web, www.keene.edu/racbp. Ticket prices are $28 and $24 for the general public, $26 and $22 for seniors and KSC faculty and staff, $14 and $12 for youth 17 and younger, and $5 for KSC students with ID.

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