CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Oct. 16, 2000
ONE YEAR AFTER THE MILLENNIUM (FESTIVAL)
Practical Paul Taylor has taken Hancher-commissioned 'Arabesque' around
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Paul Taylor has been described as "the worlds
greatest living choreographer," but he is also a very practical director
of his busy, globe-trotting dance company. When the University of Iowa Hancher
Auditorium commissioned new Paul Taylor choreography for an Oct. 15-16, 1999
world premiere on its Millennium Festival, Taylor set about creating a work
that would function well within his active repertory as a regular element
of his companys performances.
"I start with very practical reasons," Taylor explained at the
UI during the week of the premiere. "I look over the repertory to see
what kind of piece might be good as a contrast to some of the others, to make
a balanced program with a beginning, a middle and an end. And I look at the
dancers to see who needs a chance and who is overloaded, and what the budget
is and how long the rehearsal period is."
The piece he created for Hancher, "Arabesque" -- which Taylor described
as "a little exotic, almost like a fantasy" -- has served those
functions well, taking its Iowa imprimatur around the world to numerous performances
and consistent critical acclaim.
By the end of 2000, the work will have been performed in Oregon, Massachusetts,
New York, Michigan, Vermont, North Carolina, Tennessee, California and Washington,
D.C., in this country, including City Center in New York, the Kennedy Center
and the American Dance Festival. Foreign tour locations include Italy, France
and the Dominican Republic.
The Kennedy Center News in Washington, D.C., proclaimed, " Arabesque,
created just this year, has already joined the ranks of Taylor classics."
New York Post veteran critic Clive Barnes declared "Arabesque,"
a "perfectly crafted work of art . . . His impeccable choreography offers,
apart from anything else, a perfect environment for dancers, but luckily for
audiences it is an environment of an ever-variable emotional climate and poetic
Anna Kisselgoff of the New York Times called "Arabesque" "one
of Mr. Taylors most intriguing pieces. . . highly pleasing to the eye
and ear," adding, "the works deepest values lie in its experiments
with structure, extraordinary speed and music."
Newsday praised the work for "fierce, impossibly swift dancing that
blends earthy ferocity with skimming airiness," and Christie Taylor of
the Boston Herald characterized the piece as "the perfect example of
Taylor on a roll."
The critic of the Times of India wrote, " Arabesque is intriguing,
mysterious and dark, with almost troubling undertones. But Taylor, 69, is
so innovative and inventive, and his dancers respond so readily to his requirements
for speed, that his unusual new dance was accepted as a treat. . . Arabesque
had its premiere in October in Iowa City, Iowa."
"I always talk about commissioning as a risk," says Wallace Chappell,
director of Hancher Auditorium. "But Paul Taylor is such a master, and
creates work at such a consistently high standard, that we were confident
that he would produce a beautiful piece for the Millennium Festival. And yet,
in many ways, Arabesque was more striking than we could have imagined.
We all came away from the premiere with a satisfying sense of pride that we
had played a role in enabling him to create a piece that rightfully takes
its place among his most stunning works, and that serves both his dancers
and his audiences so well."
The Paul Taylor commission was supported by Richard H. and Mary Jo Stanley
The Hancher Millennium Festival was the most extensive and ambitious performing-arts
millennium celebration in the United States. The season-spanning festival
featured more than 20 major commissions in music, theater and dance.
In addition to "Arabesque," new works were presented by theater
visionary Robert Lepage; choreographers Susan Marshall, UI alumnus Lar Lubovitch,
Ushio Amagatsu, Bill T. Jones, Twyla Tharp and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar; and
composers including Richard Danielpour, Michael Daugherty, Paul Schoenfield
and UI alumnus David Lang.
Performances of the commissioned works were presented by prominent ensembles
including American Ballet Theatre, the Kronos Quartet, Sankai Juku, the Australian
Chamber Orchestra, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, the Bill T. Jones/Arnie
Zane Dance Company, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, the Ahn Trio and
the Ethos Percussion Group.
For UI arts information, visit this new address -- www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa
-- on the World Wide Web. Visit the Paul Taylor Dance Company, including numerous
images of "Arabesque," at <http://www.ptdc.org>.
To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <email@example.com>.