On Sunday, I had the pleasure of seeing “Icons: Graham, Cunningham, Taylor” performed by Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance company. All three choreographers have made history in modern dance. Three dances were performed, one by each choreographer: Taylor’s “Promethean Fire,” Graham’s “Diversion of Angels,” and Cunningham’s “Summerspace.”
The first dance, “Diversion of Angels,” featured three main couples, with a woman in white, a woman in red and a woman in yellow. This dance was romantic, and emotional at times. The dancers used space interestingly to perform shapes, such as one leg steady on the ground and one up high in the air, as if on the verge of falling.The dance was quick at times as the dancer in yellow fluttered and leaped off the stage, and slow and passionate at times when the dancer in white had a moment alone with her partner. Just at times when the dancers seemed like they were falling, their balance was professional and elegant. The dancers also used space for many spins. The dance felt like an experience of falling head over heels in love.
The second dance, “Summerspace: Afternoon Delight” was very different from the first. The dancers wore white bodysuits with colored spots all over, with the background of the stage matching. The dancers used time differently, with a lot of sudden movements and bursts of energy in the movements. This dance felt happier, brighter. It truly did feel like summer. However, this dance had more awkward and less graceful movements. This dance featured action, and high energy. However, in my personal taste, was my least favorite.
The third dance, “Promethean Fire: Heat of the Moment:” was definitely my favorite. It featured more dancers than the previous two dances. Their costumes were black with interesting diagonal lines, along a black background that the stage set. The dance began with the dancers, two by two performing movements that the two next to them would follow subsequently, allowing the viewers to watch them echo their moves like dominoes. The dancers moved in synchronized movements, filling up the space of the stage in visually interesting ways. The circled the stage so fast that I thought they would bump into one another, reminding me of subway crowds. There were strong arms featured in the whole dance. The dancers leaped and twirled with one another. They piled on top of one another multiple times in a big pile of humans that become something beautiful with the choreography that followed. It felt beautiful to watch, choreographed wisely and performed perfectly! I’m very into visual art, but rarely attend any dance shows. This performance was such a pleasure to see.