More than 55 years ago, swimmer Paul Taylor auditioned at The
Julliard School in dance and blew the faculty away. Now, he claims
two companies and a repertoire of 120 pieces that have been
performed around the world. His main company is celebrating its
50th anniversary by touring all of the 50 states in one year.

Fine Arts Reviews
The Paul Taylor Dance Company celebrates its 50th anniversary this year with a performace at the Power Center. (Courtesy of UMS)

The Ann Arbor stop holds significance as the alma mater of one
of the company’s 16 members, Julie Tice. In addition to two
full length shows, the company will hold an abridged “Family
Show” Sunday afternoon, a master class led by Tice, a youth
performance for K-12 school groups.

Tice decided to move to New York and start taking classes with
Taylor after one of his company members chose a piece for her and
other University dancers in 1997 during her senior year. She soon
made it into “Taylor 2,” Taylor’s second company,
and she has been performing with the main company for the past five
years.

Tice encourages audience members to watch in order to see what
moves them. She says, “He likes the individual to come up
with their own ideas about what the dance is about.”
Consequently, there are no program notes. The Paul Taylor Dance
Company is known for portraying emotion. “The thing that is
so fantastic in this vocab that he has developed is the large range
of emotion and feeling that can be conveyed,” Tice said.
“Let yourself be taken to another world for an hour and a
half.”

Tonight’s performance is scheduled to include the classic
“Cloven Kingdom” (1976), “Eventide” (1997)
and “Promethean Fire” (2002). “Cloven
Kingdom” addresses the animalistic tendencies in humans. In
contrast, “Eventide” is a beautiful piece about a
couple going through different stages in life and their
relationship. “Promethean Fire” is a passionate piece
that relates to Sept. 11.

Tomorrow evening’s performance is scheduled to feature the
classic “Arden Court” (1981), Taylor’s newest
work “Dante Variations” (2004), and “Le Sacre du
Printemps” (1981). “Arden Court” is joyous while
“Dante Variations” is about Purgatory. “Le Sacre
du Printemps” (The Rehearsal), is the only piece that will be
performed that has something resembling a plotline. Tice is in all
of the pieces tonight and tomorrow. While the two performances have
different programs, both nights “show the breadth and range
of (Taylor’s) work, from the comical to the more
serious,” Tice said.

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