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Dance

Paul Taylor Returns to the Mahaiwe

The Dance Scene

Paul Taylor has been making dances for more than 60 years, and is still going strong. His company will appear at the Mahaiwe Theater in Great Barrington July 9-12, with a selection of dances from the last 30 years including some of his best-loved works. I spoke to long-time company member Sean Mahoney last week to learn more about what it’s like to be a Taylor dancer, and what audiences can expect.

Invitation To the Season

Dance

Some Weird, All Delightful

Dance: Mark Morris at Jacob’s Pillow

It might be that Mark Morris works in a limited range of moods: the funny/ironic and the ecstatic/glorious.
Or maybe those are just his sweet spots and dances that are, say, tragic, or dryly abstract, are less memorable or less-often performed. In any case, the four pieces Morris presented last week at Jacob’s Pillow definitely hit his sweet spot.

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Rhythms, Dean Martin And Angels at The Pillow

Dance: Hubbard Street Chicago Dance

Hubbard Street Chicago Dance, the immensely popular troupe, presented four works last week at Jacob’s Pillow that showcased the company’s many strengths and a few weak points.

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Finishing One Life .... To Begin Another

When the Trey McIntyre Project announced in January that it would disband after its final performance on June 29 at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, a shock wave passed through the nation’s professional dance community and, of course, dance enthusiasts. After all, TMP, which became a year-round dance troupe just six years ago and in Boise, ID, of all places, had quickly become the darling of dance festivals around the world, performing 40 weeks a year, giving its dancers full employment and benefits and was Boise’s first and only international cultural ambassador.
What gave?

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See These Works While You Still Can

Dance: A Proscenium Tour at Bard

When the Trisha Brown Dance Company makes a stop at Bard’s Fisher Center next weekend, it may be the last time the company presents Brown’s groundbreaking work on a stage in our area. But the company’s associate artistic director, Diane Madden, insists this is not a farewell tour. Rather, it’s a “proscenium tour,” showing Brown’s works meant for a traditional stage. “We have a lot of exciting plans to keep the work going” in alternative settings, she said in a phone interview last week.

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Adrift In a Terrible World

Shen Wei Dance Arts

Shen Wei, the Chinese-born American choreographer, brought his modern dance company to MASS MoCA last weekend for a lesson on isolation and anxiety.
Among the startling, often disturbing passages was a solo in “Collective Measures” in which a young woman, accompanied by a single repeated measure of electronic sound, squirmed about on a square of paper, and rose, bloodied, it seemed, by red and blue and black paint. As she stood apart, two men displayed the canvas she had smeared with her body.

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A Fine Finish

Dance: Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion

If “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” (reviewed elsewhere in this issue) focuses on the African-American march toward civil rights, Kyle Abraham’s dance epic,
“Pavement,” at Jacob’s Pillow last week, tells a darker story of black life in America.
Inspired by Abraham’s childhood in a very distressed Pittsburgh and by the film “Boyz n the Hood,” which chronicled the influence of gangs on young blacks, “Pavement” is about love, loyalty and loss.

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Whelan Blazing New Trails For Herself, And for Others

Dance: Wendy Whelan at Jacob’s Pillow

Ballet is all about up. Ballerinas are airy, they rise up on pointe and leap as if untethered by gravity. They train for decades to create the illusion of weightlessness.

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Big Ambitions, Good Instincts

The Dance Scene

Los Angeles isn’t known for its strong dance scene, but BodyTraffic, founded there in 2007, has been gaining traction by commissioning work by leading European choreographers. BodyTraffic founders Lillian Rose Barbeito and Tina Finkelman Berkett, both in their 20s when they started the company, have worked with choreographers as varied as Barak Marshall and Kyle Abraham, and the company presented three very different dances at Jacob’s Pillow last week, showing off the terrific young company they’ve assembled.

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