I?ve got a review of the Paul Taylor Dance Company in the Chronicle today:

?The West Coast premiere of “Klezmerbluegrass” formed the banner attraction in the last of three Paul Taylor Dance Company programs presented by San Francisco Performances. Program C also includes the bittersweet nostalgia of “Black Tuesday” and the daffy violence of “Le Sacre du Printemps”; Program B covers everything from the romance of “Eventide” to the divine chaos of “Syzygy.” Which program should you see? It’s impossible to say. Both will leave you steeped in Taylor’s range and inventiveness, and both will leave you with a smile. Fortunately, both repeat before the company’s run ends Sunday.

It’s hard to get overly excited about “Klezmerbluegrass” when this much mastery is on display. The dance is set to Margot Leverett’s clever arrangements of traditional music, as recorded by the Klezmer Mountain Boys. Down-home banjos mingle with wailing clarinets; do-si-dos dissolve into ritualistic line dances. The sunny Richard Chen See rallies a Hasidic-like men’s dance; Silvia Nevjinsky leads a delicate but overlong section for the women.?

I had to cover six, count ?em six, works in this review. The one that moved me the most was 1997?s ?Eventide?:

?So much feeling depends on the touch of a hand and the tilt of a chin as 10 couples stroll to Ralph Vaughn Williams’ Suite for Viola and Orchestra. The dance has a literary quality, each section a little Chekhovian tale of love. Michael Trusnovec braces Heather Berest’s elegant shoulders as though to freeze her in time. Chen See and Lisa Viola chase each other like school kids; Robert Kleinendorst draws Julie Tice to him almost against her will, then deserts her.?

Both programs were fantastic, but it was a lot of material to cover, a lot of information to pack in. A few paragraphs of “breathing space” necessarily got cut. As a result of all this, the review reads a bit like a blow-by-blow report, a quality I try to avoid. But sometimes reporting what you saw is the best you can do on a particular night.

If you want to read more in-depth analysis of Taylor’s San Francisco run, I highly recommend Allan Ulrich’s reviews of all three programs at Voice of Dance.

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