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Commissions & Masterworks


The Beauty in Gray (Commissioned by PTAMD in 2018)

Performed by: Paul Taylor Dance Company
Choreographer: Bryan Arias
Music: Nico Muhly and Ólafur Arnalds (Nils Frahm rework)
Costumes: Carljin Petermeijer
Lighting: James F. Ingalls
Date First Performed: March 8, 2018

Half Life (Commissioned by PTAMD in 2018)

Performed by: Paul Taylor Dance Company
Choreographer: Doug Varone
Music: Music by Julia Wolfe
Date First Performed: March 10, 2018

Continuum (Commissioned by PTAMD in 2017)

Performed by: Paul Taylor Dance Company
Choreographer: Lila York
Music: Recomposed by Max Richter (based on Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons”)
Lighting Design:  James F. Ingalls
Set and Costume Design:  Santo Loquasto
Date First Performed: February 11, 2017

The Weight of Smoke (Commissioned by PTAMD in 2016)

Performed by: Paul Taylor Dance Company
Choreographer: Doug Elkins in collaboration with the PTDC dancers
Assisted by: Carolyn Cryer
Original sound score: Justin Levine and Matt Stine
Additional music: George Frideric Handel
Costumes: Karen Young
Lighting: James F. Ingalls
Date First Performed: March 17, 2016
Notes: “Marvelously fresh vitality. Not only did [the] closing section give us a view of Mr. Elkins at his liveliest — with strong elements of club/disco dancing and impish comedy, rhythmically exuberant — but it [shows] these remarkable dancers… in new lights. Daft, engaging, it releases the dancers’ high spirits as well as Mr. Elkins’s naughtiness.” – Alastair Macaulay, New York Times

Rush Hour (Commissioned by PTAMD in 2016)

Performed by: Paul Taylor Dance Company
Choreographer: Larry Keigwin
Assisted by: Jaclyn Walsh
Music: Adam Crystal
Costumes: Fritz Masten
Lighting: Clifton Taylor
Date First Performed: March 16, 2016
Notes: “The audience rose to its feet to cheer Keigwin’s Rush Hour, and no wonder. The brilliantly designed work gets your pulse racing. Keigwin deploys these superb dancers to convey the pressure and speed of city rush hour”
– Deborah Jowitt, DanceBeat


Dances of Isadora (Presented by PTAMD in 2018)

Performed by: Sara Mearns
Choreographer: Isadora Duncan
Music: Chopin, J.S. Bach, Beethoven, Scriabin, and Strauss
Artistic Director: Lori Belilove, The Isadora Duncan Dance Company

Set and Reset (Presented by PTAMD in 2018)

Performed by: Trisha Brown Dance Company
Choreographer: Trisha Brown
Music: Laurie Anderson, “Long Time No See”
Set and Costume Design: Robert Rauschenberg
Lighting Design: Beverly Emmons with Robert Rauschenberg
World Premiere: October 20, 1983

Summerspace (Presented by PTAMD in 2017)

Performed by: Lyon Opera Ballet
Choreographer: Merce Cunningham
Music: Ixion
Set and Costumes: Robert Rauschenberg
Lighting: Ronald Bates
Date First Performed: August 17, 1958
Notes: “The summer part of the title came after the dance was finished, but the notion of space was always present. I fumbled around with steps and written notes about steps, as I often do, but the principal momentum was a concern for steps that carry one though a space, and not only into it, like the passage of birds, stopping for moments on the ground and then going on, or automobiles more relentlessly throbbing along turnpikes and under and over cloverleaves. This led to the idea of using kinds of movement that would be continuous, and carry the dancers into the playing area and out of it.” – Merce Cunningham

Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder (Presented by PTAMD in 2016)

Performed by: Dayton Contemporary Dance Company
Choreographer: Donald McKayle
Music: Traditional Music Arranged by Robert DeCormier and Milton Okun
From the Collection of John and Allen Lomax
Costumes: Domingo A. Rodriguez, Recreated for DCDC by Ayn Wood
Lighting: John Rensel
Date First Performed: 1959: DCDC premiere; 1987
Notes: “[An] affecting production… Set to traditional songs, the dance depicts the suffering of a rural chain gang at the men’s dreams of succor in the form of a single woman who takes on the guise of mother, sweetheart, and wife.”
– Tobi Tobias, New York Magazine

Diversion of Angels (Presented by PTAMD in 2016)

Performed by: Paul Taylor Dance Company
Choreographer: Martha Graham
Reconstucted by: Blakeley White-McGuire and Tadej Brdnik
Rehearsal Director: Linda Hodes
Music: Norman Dello Joio
Costumes: Martha Graham
Lighting: Jean Rosenthal adapted by Jennifer Tipton (2016)
Date First Performed: 1948
Notes: “The lyrical side of love is Miss Graham’s subject here. And yet for all its pure-dance surface,
there is always a note of passion…” – Anna Kisselgoff, New York Times

Rite of Spring (Presented by PTAMD in 2015)

Performed by: Shen Wei Dance Arts
Choreographer: Shen Wei
Music: Igor Stravinsky, Four-Hand Piano Version recorded by Fazil Say
Concept, Costumes & Set: Shen Wei
Lighting: David Ferri
Date First Performed: 2003
Notes: “When I first heard Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring in China in 1989, I was enthralled by the score’s rich, evocative texture. Over the next twelve years, I continued to develop a creative interest in the piece, finally beginning in-depth research on the music in early 2001. The Stravinsky score is constructed with both technical complexity and narrative passion. After listening closely to the score, I investigated movement concepts and structural principles that resonated with the quality found in the music.” – Shen Wei

Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor (Presented by PTAMD in 2015)

Performed by: Limón Dance Company
Choreographer: Doris Humphrey
Staging and Direction by: Jennifer Scanlon
Music: Johann Sebastian Bach
Costumes: Pauline Lawrence
Lighting: Brandon Stirling Baker after original concepts by Doris Humphrey
Date First Performed: 1938
Notes: A Passacaglia, “a dance through the streets,” is of medieval Italian origin, and was a processional celebration. In the music, the minor melody, according to the traditional Passacaglia form, insistently repeating from beginning to end, seems to say “How can man be saved and be content in a world of infinite despair?” And in the magnificent fugue which concludes the dance the answer seems to mean “Be saved by love and courage.”…The dance was inspired by the need for love, tolerance and nobility in a world given more and more to the denial of these things.” – Doris Humphrey