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Paul Taylor American Modern Dance and Orch of St. Luke’s

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This superb venue in beautiful Neidorff-Karpati Hall at the Manhattan School of Music concluded a three-week festival featuring dance choreography set to the music of J. S. Bach performed by the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, conducted by Donald York. This amalgamation of the magnificent post-Renaissance music of J. S. Bach and the brilliant choreography of Paul Taylor and Margie Gillis presented a stunning visual and aural characterization of the German Affektenlehre.  Dancers emoted powerfully the expressive visionary import of Bach’s brilliant oeuvre within and beyond the scope of affects identified by René Descartes and others as admiration, love, desire, hatred, joy, sorrow, and jealousy.

Akin to the music of the late Baroque, dances were symmetrical, complex, and sequential. The contrapuntal interplay between the characters was finely crafted, passionate, subtle, and evocative. The delight of the music unfolded into beautiful visual imagery. Wonderfully adorned costuming by Santo Loquasto expressed exquisite detail. The Greek key pattern appropriately symbolized the eternal course of life, or perhaps the flow of music, beauty, dance, and movement. Lighting design by Jennifer Tipton supported the sparkling transcendent atmosphere of rich motion, vibrant sounds, and pathos.

We were fortunate to experience Margie Gillis’ world premiere of her choreographic work entitled Rewilding. She skillfully incorporated the magnificence of Bach’s music into her theme of “weaving our wildness with experiential wisdom,” while Bach’s contrapuntal linear mastery well supported her philosophical relevance.

An appreciative adoring audience stood often to applaud. The retirement announcement of beloved principal dancer Michael Trusnovec added to the emotional impact of the afternoon, well-noted, as the audience adorned the stage with flowers during his final bows.

This was another superb Paul Taylor Dance Company and Orchestra of St. Luke’s collaboration. Music and dance lovers will be looking forward to the new artistic director Michael Novak’s work in his “Celebrate the Dancemaker” series from October 28 through November 17, 2019, in the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center.

For upcoming events by the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, go to, click here, or call 212.594.6100 x2.

For upcoming events by the Paul Taylor Dance Company, go to, click here or call 212-496-0600.

Runtime: With three intermissions about 130 minutes.

For another St. Luke’s review click here.

Edward A. Kliszus

Edward A. Kliszus

Performer, conductor, and educator Edward Kliszus began his musical studies at the age of 5 and has since been deeply involved in the fine, performing, and literary arts. He is a long-time and current member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) and the American Federation of Musicians (AFM). He studied trumpet performance and music education while attending the Manhattan School of Music and was a student of Mel Broiles, principal trumpet of the New York Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. His post-graduate studies at New York University focused on trumpet and piano performance, music composition, and analysis of composer Elliott Carter's 1974 work Brass Quintet. He was music director and conductor of the New Jersey based Union Symphony Orchestra for 15 years and has performed at Manhattan's West Village venue Monologues and Madness. He currently focuses his artistic and creative endeavors on writing, music composition, piano jazz, and as a critic for and OpeningNight.Online. He holds a Ph.D. from New York University, Master of Music from the Manhattan School of Music, and Bachelor of Music from Nyack College.

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Paul Taylor American Modern Dance and Orch of St. Luke’s

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