Dance Company: Paul Taylor American Modern Dance Company
Title: Promethean Fire
Venue: Lincoln Center – David H. Koch Theater
This dance, featuring 16 male and female dancers, was the third and final piece of the show. A very dramatic Bach music – the Toccata and Fugue in D minor – resonates before the curtains open up, installing a climate of tension and expectation in the room. For this piece, the scenery is totally absent, meaning the dancers – all wearing rather simple and minimalist black velvet costumes and glittery stripes – evolve on a black stage, without any background decor.
This configuration makes the dancers skin stand out in the lightening and accentuated their different skin colors while their are moving into constantly reconfigured structures. Energy and space are the two most important elements of the piece: thought the three movements of the dance, dancers alternate between forceful and deconstructed gestures and fluid and smooth movement. Moreover, the 16 dancers take up all the stage in a continuous flow while sometimes aggregating in a collective figures to embody various human emotions.
According to me, this dance embodies all the characteristic of what modern dance stands for. The title : Promethean fire, refers to the famous Greek myth of Prometheus, a divinity who defied Zeus, stealing fire from the heavens and giving it to the human race. His name has become associated with bold originality and creativity just like modern dance. From this dark scenery; the diversity of sizes, gender and ethnicities of the dancers to their way of evolving on the stage with very unusual dance moves contrasting with the baroque Bach music, this incredible work of arts masters all the codes of modern dance.