Reprinted from yesterday editions.
From what obscure recess of the dark unconscious Paul Taylor ectracted his new work. "Dust," it would be hard to say. One can only conclude that it must be a remarkable repository of visions and phantom thoughts.
The work, given its Washington premiere at Lisner Auditorium Wednesday in the second of two programs the Taylor Dance Company is presenting this week is both eerie and beautiful, satisfying and disturbing. Like the earlier "Runes," shown on this same program, it is like a dream dredged up from Jungian ancestral memories, only half-understood but vibrant with primal feeling. But whereas "Runes" takes the form of tribal ritual, "Dist" is more like a series of mysterious random transformations and encounters.
In pure movement terms it is a wondrous cornucopia of invention - Taylor never seems to run short of new, eccentric steps, odd body shapes, novel linkages and darling ways of tossing the human figure around a stage. There are lots of allusions to older Taylor movements, some of them in the nature of parody - the long, skimming stride with upswinging arms, for instance, here becomes a hunched-over travesty of itself. As usual, Taylor knits the elements together into a brilliantly structured compositional whole, and the connecting threads seem to follow in their course with all the inevitability of a waterfall.
The "dust" of the title would seem to be that from whence we all come and to which we return. Gene Moore's set consists of an ominously thick rope hanging down from the flies, bulging in the middle with an even more sinister-looking knot. Nothing happens to it - the dancers don't interact with it, it's just there, its creepy presence enveloping the dance.
The sweet-and-sour polarities of the music (Poulenc's "Concert Champetre") are reflected in the dance imagery in myriad ways - jaunty country capers give way to a doleful ensemble of crippled and blind figures, for example. This is another of Taylor's explorations of our muthical and biological imagination, and it's clearly a masterpiece. Also on the program, all of it superbly execulted, were "3 Epitaphs" and "Aureoles."