Legendary Paul Taylor Dance Company to perform at Quick Center


Paul Taylor DanceThe Paul Taylor Dance Company, celebrating 50 years as one of the world's greatest dance treasures, will take the stage on Saturday, October 2, at 8 p.m. at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. An "Art to Heart" question and answer session with the company will take place after the performance.

The Quick Center appearance is part of a weeklong celebration of the inauguration of Fairfield University's eighth president, the Rev. Jeffrey von Arx, S.J. During the evening, Fr. von Arx will present Taylor with the Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J., Award for Excellence in the Arts.

Paul Taylor DanceHailed as "the best choreographer in the world" by the New York Daily News and the "reigning master of modern dance" by Time magazine, Paul Taylor personally chose the program for the evening, which is the only anniversary year appearance of the company in Connecticut. The dancers will perform two recent works - 2000's "Black Tuesday" and 2002's "Promethean Fire" - as well as "Syzygy," a Paul Taylor hallmark that debuted in 1987. "Black Tuesday" incorporates music from the Great Depression, while "Promethean Fire" is based on three selections by J.S. Bach, including his bracing "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor." Using music specially composed by Donald York, "Syzygy" is Taylor's take on its astronomical namesake, the nearly straight line configuration of three or more celestial bodies.

Deborah Sommers, the Quick Center's director of programming, said she was thrilled to welcome the company to Fairfield University.

"Paul Taylor's work has been influential in creating the genre, and yet, has helped push the endless boundaries for modern dance," she said. "His innovative work is timeless because it provides us with unforgettable impressions of our humanity."

Paul Taylor DanceTaylor's career in choreography began on May 30, 1954, when the then-23-year-old and five colleagues performed his "Jack and the Beanstalk" at the Henry Street Settlement in Manhattan From There, Taylor has created a unique, creative style that put him in the company of the giants of modern and classical dance. He spent seven years as a soloist in Martha Graham's Company and was a guest artist with the New York City Ballet in George Balanchine's "Episodes" in 1959. By 1962, he had created the masterful "3 Epitaphs" and captivated dance lovers with the landmark "Aureole."

Retiring as a performer in 1975, Taylor devoted himself to choreography, creating the classic dances "Esplanade," "Cloven Kingdom," "Lost, Found and Lost," and dozens more. Taylor's award-winning work is known for uncommon musicality, being set to ragtime, reggae, tango, Baroque and the tunes of Tin Pan Alley.

In 1960, his company made its first international tour to Italy and it has performed in more than 450 cities in more than 60 countries. The American Ballet Theatre, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, the Joffrey Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Teatro alla Scala of Milan and many other companies around the world have performed his work.

Paul Taylor DanceIn 1966, the Paul Taylor Dance Foundation was established to help bring his works to the largest audiences possible, facilitate his ability to create new dances and preserve his growing repertoire. In 1993, he formed Taylor 2, a six-dancer company that brings his masterworks to smaller venues, including schools.

Tickets are $30 to $40. For tickets, call the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396. For more information, visit the website www.quickcenter.com.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on September 2, 2004

Vol. 37, No. 29