On Friday night, Brehmer Theater was packed with Colgate students and members of the greater Hamilton community who gathered to watch a performance by the Taylor 2 Dance Company. The late choreographer, Paul Taylor, founded the New York City-based ensemble in 1993 to ensure that his works would be performed and shared with all kinds of audiences, regardless of financial or technological restrictions.
The six members of the company performed four different works by Taylor, demonstrating the dancers’ and choreographers’ full range of artistry.
The first piece, “Aureole,” was set to music by Bach. The dancers were clothed in plain white costumes to allow the dancing to take center stage. The baroque soundtrack provided contrast to Taylor’s balletic choreography, which was punctuated with contemporary jumps and angled arms. The variation in the number of dancers on the stage at any given time coupled with the alternating unison and canon sections created a visually interesting, first piece in the extensive performance.
After a brief intermission, the troupe resumed with a dance entitled “3 Epitaphs.” The performance was a stark contrast to the originally graceful, relatively traditional dance. Clad in grey bodysuits with reflectors to catch the light, the performers crawled and crouched across the stage animalistically to an eerie jazz re- cording. Audience member first-year Anna Ehli said the piece was her favorite, despite the eccentricity of it.
“[The dance] was really something else. Although I can’t say I understood the meaning behind the odd, gray bodysuits and insect-like motions as the dancers crawled around the stage, I immensely enjoyed the show,” Ehli said.
A spinning wheel turned on stage during “Tracer,” and the dancers were dressed in white and pastel colors. “Tracer” pairs ominous music with periods of stillness and intricate partner work. The result was an avant-garde piece that was incredibly interesting, even if it wasn’t easy to interpret.
The final dance, “Esplanade,” was less modern and more evocative of traditional, balletic dances also set to Bach. Wearing autumnal colors, the dancers changed moods in each movement, jumping from spring-like, graceful youthfulness to erratic movements that evoked the feelings of anxiousness and disorder.
“To be honest, I wish I understood the meanings behind some of the dances,” Ehli said. “They incorporated a lot of surreal elements that simply weren’t extremely accessible and easy to understand for the common audience member.”
Karen Holcomb, a member of the Hamilton community, enjoyed the performance, particularly because she was hosting the members of Taylor 2 at her bed and breakfast. Holcomb regularly attends performances at Colgate.
“This is different than the performances the past few years,” she said. Holcomb added that she had rarely seen a theater so packed with both students and Hamilton community members.
With many more future performances scheduled for the upcoming year, explore the opportunity to have access to professional groups and artists who bring enriching experiences to our campus.
Contact Haley Fuller at [email protected]
Correction: An earlier version of this article misdated the Taylor 2 Dance Company’s founding year. The company was founded in 1993.