The most stimulating sight in an evening of uncommonly smooth — but somewhat bland — group dynamics by the Paul Taylor Dance Company was the image of the odd man out. He was the stagehand, a character in “Also Playing,” the last of the three works the troupe performed Tuesday at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. (The program repeats Thursday.) Danced by the excellent Robert Kleinendorst, he had lurked in the shadows of Taylor’s winking view of vaudeville until his freewheeling solo at the very end. And this jaunty, soaring bit with a push broom contained more physical release, uncorked emotion and deeply individualistic expression than just about any other moment in the evening.
All that, and no music. The rest of “Also Playing” had been danced to Donizetti excerpts, but Kleinendorst’s only accompaniment was his humming. This twist was vintage Taylor, ending a work, and by extension an entire program, not with a big group finale but with a solo. (Think of the anguished close to “Black Tuesday” — different atmosphere, but similar structure.) But Kleinendorst’s liberating riff in a darkened theater had an unintentional effect here. It stood in high contrast to what came to feel like a drawback over the course of the evening: the seamlessness of Taylor’s ensemble choreography, so polished and untextured that it began to feel slick.