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University of Minnesota
November 16, 2010
At one point, Taylor's work was so cutting-edge it chased some patrons toward the exits. Now, his pieces have broad audience appeal.
The Paul Taylor Dance Company comes to Northrop on November 30
Paul Taylor is known as the greatest living force in modern dance, and he’s bringing his world-renowned company back to Minnesota for a specially selected program on Tuesday, November 30. It will be the last dance performance this season at Northrop Auditorium.
Taylor continues to win acclaim for the vibrancy, relevance, and power of his recent dances. More than a half-century ago, he became the youngest member of the pantheon that created American modern dance. As his success continued, Taylor was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors, and he received an Emmy Award for Speaking in Tongues in 1992.
Covering the arts
"Arts journalism isn’t dying, it’s morphing into new forms using new media to reach new audiences," says Camille LeFevre, an arts journalist and adjunct professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. That’s the rationale behind a new course (JOUR 4990) she developed that merges professional journalism students with strategic communications students. In addition to reviewing music and dance, the students are currently working with Northrop on promoting the Paul Taylor Dance Company. Their projects include contributing to the Northrop blog and developing guerilla-marketing tactics for the upcoming show.
He also was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1993, received the Algur H. Meadows Award for Excellence in the Arts in 1995, and was named one of 50 Americans honored for outstanding achievement by the Library of Congress's Office of Scholarly Programs.
From the ‘naughty boy’ to the standard-bearer
Taylor, who was born in 1930 and discovered dance in the late 1940s, studied at Juilliard and by 1954 he had assembled a small company of dancers and was creating his own works.
At the time, his work was so cutting-edge that it could send confused audience members flocking to the exits, and Martha Graham even dubbed Taylor the "naughty boy" of dance. By contrast, Taylor's works are now known to appeal to the largest possible audience.
His show on November 30 will include three pieces:
Cloven Kingdom (1976) reveals the primal beast lurking just below mankind's sophisticated veneer, while Brief Encounters (2010) is a dance about people more concerned with momentary connections than ongoing relationships. Esplanade's (1975) pedestrian, "found" movement displays the exuberance of youth, the sadness of a dysfunctional family, and the romantic interplay of lovers.
For more information and for tickets, visit the Northrop website.