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Airs – Paul Taylor (1978)

March 8, 2010

Credit: Paul B. Goode

I would like to recount exactly what occurred in this dance but as much as I try to latch on to the details, I cannot. Anna Kisselgoff wrote a beautiful and descriptive review in 1982 about a specific moment that I just can’t recall. The reason is… I got lost in the dance. One moment bled into the next and my eyes wondered from extended arm to pointed foot and from duet to solo with such smoothness that I didn’t care to dwell on who was doing what exactly and for what reason. The entire dance felt like gazing at the ocean and each wave came and broke and sank back from which it came, as nearly every soft ending was abruptly switched to a peppy new beginning.

Credit: Paul B. Goode

The music of George Frideric Handel provided the atmosphere for the dance. The term ‘air’ in music is used to describe aria-like song structures. The compositions were from Handel’s Alcina, Ariodante, Berenice, and Solomon operas along with sections of his Concerti Grossi. Below are most of the movements and can give an idea of how the dance came along.

Concerto in F Major, Op. 3, No. 4a – Allegro (The Second Overture in Amadigi)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Concerto in B Major, Op. 3, No. 2 – Largo (From 1:50 on)
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Concerto in D Major, Op. 3 No. 6 – Vivace (up to 2:38)
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Concerto in G Major, Op. 3, No. 3 – Adagio (2:55 to 3:55)
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Overture to Ariodante (embed disabled)

Concerto in F Major, Op. 3, No. 4b – Allegro (3:09 to 5:00)
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Arrival of the Queen of Sheba
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Dream Music (Entrée des Songes Agréables) (click play button)

Credit: Julieta Cervantes

What moments of this dance did you find most memorable?

Did the texture of this dance remind you of any others?

How beautiful was this dance?

Seriously, how beautiful was this dance?

March 6th, 2010, 8:00pm
New York City Center
New York City, New York

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Dana permalink
    April 29, 2010 12:57 am

    We did this piece at the Paul Taylor intensive I went to last summer. It was amazingly fun, even better than Aureole. And the final solo is breathtaking to dance.

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