My review in the Chronicle:
“As though it weren’t a gift enough to have the Paul Taylor Dance Company back after a year’s hiatus, this latest San Francisco Performances engagement brought us a fresh Taylor masterpiece. If you were at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts’ Novellus Theater Thursday or Friday for the Taylor dancers’ Program B, you are now basking in the heaven on earth of “Beloved Renegade.” If you go tonight or Sunday for Program C, you will still discover riches aplenty, but I am sorry to report you have missed one of the most beautiful dances of Taylor’s 50-plus-year career.
Taylor is nearly 79 years old, and though the reality of death has never been far from his artistic consciousness, I don’t think it is a stretch of psychological projection to say that in “Beloved Renegade” we find the choreographer reconciling himself to mortality. Or perhaps, like the black scrim that initially separates Michael Trusnovec and Laura Halzack, death is not a looming nothingness to face but a threshold of transcendence. The “renegade” of the dance’s title is Walt Whitman. And the spiritual philosophy of his poetry – “I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love,/ if you want me again look for me under your boot-soles” – suffuses every moment of this placid yet riveting work.
The marvel of “Beloved Renegade” – what makes it layered in a way Taylor and only a handful of other choreographers could achieve – is how spaciously he pairs his vision of Whitman with his chosen music, Poulenc’s choral “Gloria.” ”
Click here to keep reading.