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92NY’s season closes with Paul Taylor Dance Company celebrating modern dance

Kristin Draucker, Jake Vincent, Jada Pearman and Company in 'Esplanade'. Photo by Steven Pisano.
Kristin Draucker, Jake Vincent, Jada Pearman and Company in 'Esplanade'. Photo by Steven Pisano.

The 92nd Street Y, New York’s 150th anniversary dance season closes with the Paul Taylor Dance Company in a program celebrating the past, present and future of modern dance, and the company’s relationship with 92NY that had a profound impact on dance history. The performance is in person in Kaufmann Concert Hall on Monday, May 13 at 8pm, and is available online for 72 hours from noon on May 14. Tickets are available here.

In 1957, 92NY created a space for young choreographer Paul Taylor to present his first full evening of choreography in its Kaufmann Concert Hall; 92NY had long been welcoming and supporting American contemporary dance artists in developing their work. That performance saw the premiere of Seven New Dances, which posed provocative and radical questions about what modern dance was and could become. It also inspired one of the most famous published reviews in dance history – four inches of blank space – that catapulted the young Taylor toward fame and infamy for his avant-garde take on human movement. This groundbreaking performance has also been hailed by many as the underpinning for the later creative of Taylor’s 1975 masterpiece, Esplanade.

In celebration of their relationship’s lasting impact, the Paul Taylor Dance Company returns to the stage where it all began, for 92NY’s 150th anniversary. Hosted by Broadway and film icon Alan Cumming, the evening will open with an eye on the future with an exclusive preview of Resident Choreographer Lauren Lovette’s newest creations. Then, after 67 years the story of Seven New Dances will be brought to the Kaufman stage once again. Reading from Paul Taylor’s autobiography Private Domain, Cumming will bring Taylor’s voice to life, narrating the creation of – and the audience’s reaction to – the premiere of Seven New Dances. Excerpts from five of the original seven dances will be reconstructed for this special evening, performed by the Taylor Company and special guests, including New York City Ballet (NYCB) Principal Adrian Danchig-Waring, Alicia Graf Mack and Damian Woetzel. The evening closes with Esplanade, finding its way home to 92NY for the first time.

The evening also honors Juilliard and NYCB’s relationship to Paul Taylor. With NYCB’s Adrian Danchig-Waring, Juilliard’s Alicia Graf Mack and Damian Woetzel’s long-standing relationship with both cultural institutions, Juilliard and NYCB’s presence in Taylor’s legacy — past, present and future — will be engaged in an unprecedented way.

For tickets and more information, visit www.92ny.org/event/paul-taylor-dance-company.

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