Paul Taylor Dance Company returns to Vail International Dance Festival |

Paul Taylor Dance Company returns to Vail International Dance Festival

Cameron Morgan
Special to the Daily
"Promethean Fire" is one of three pieces the Paul Taylor Dance Company will perform at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail on Thursday, Aug. 11.
Erin Baiano | Special to the Daily |

Vail International Dance Festival schedule

• Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance — 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11, Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail

• Ballroom Spectacular — 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12, Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail

• Dance TV — 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13, Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail

For a full schedule, including Master Classes and fringe events, visit or call 888-920-ARTS (2787).

Q&A with Paul Taylor Dance Company’s Michael Trusnovec

Michael Trusnovec will be one of 16 dancers from the Paul Taylor Dance Company performing at the Vail International Dance Festival on Thursday, Aug. 11. Trusnovec made his debut with Paul Taylor Dance Company in 1998. Read on for his thoughts about the great venue and performing Taylor’s repertoire:

Q: What excites you most about performing in Vail this year?

A: Vail is one of the most unique, beautiful settings our company gets to perform in. It’s such an honor to be invited so often to share Mr. Taylor’s gorgeous and thoughtful work with the dance-loving audiences at a festival filled with incredible dancers from around the globe.

Q: What do you enjoy most about dancing Paul Taylor’s repertoire and dancing with the company?

A: For me, what moves me to keep dancing these many years with Paul Taylor is the combination of athleticism, drama and musicality inherent in his dances. It is glorious to sink your teeth into them. They are continually challenging, deeply satisfying works.

Q: Why do you think audiences should come see the performance?

A: Mr. Taylor’s dances are so special, so inviting, entertaining and thought provoking, that there’s always something for every audience member, no matter their tastes. Romantic, mysterious, witty, powerful, beautiful — these are dances not to be missed out on. Whether you’re seeing us for the first time, or have been following us for decades, my hope is that the Vail audiences will walk away, or maybe even skip, with a newfound love of Paul’s masterful dances.

VAIL — The Paul Taylor Dance Company will return to the Vail International Dance Festival stage today at 7:30 p.m., featuring a full-evening performance of choreography by Paul Taylor, a living legend of American modern dance.

Last seen at the Festival in 2013, the Paul Taylor Dance Co. is a 16-member troupe founded in 1954. The modern dance company has entertained audiences in more than 500 cities in 64 countries around the world.

“The chance to see Mr. Taylor’s dancers perform his work is one not to miss in the setting of the Ford Amphitheater,” said Damian Woetzel, artistic director of the Vail International Dance Festival. “It will be an extraordinarily beautiful night.”

The Paul Taylor Dance Co. presents visual commentary on life’s complexities and societal issues through dance. Taylor’s choreography is renowned for its fluid muscularity, musicality and timelessness. In this performance, three different pieces will be presented: “Polaris,” “Dilly Dilly” and “Promethean Fire.”

“Paul Taylor revolutionized American dance on the stage in many ways,” Woetzel said. “From the world of ideas where he challenged what people thought a dance was supposed to be, to the world of physical expression where he drew on everyday movements and built them into exquisite art.”

What you’ll see

“Polaris” (1976), with a commissioned score by Donald York — “Polaris” explores the importance of audience perception and the subtleties that change tone within the dance. A two-part work, one set of dancers moves within a large metallic cube onstage, followed by another group that performs the same steps. As the music and lighting change, the two sets of dancers execute the choreography with different emphasis and intention.

“The two halves of Polaris look and feel so incredibly different that many audiences, if not told, might never notice that the choreography is repeated with different music and two groups of dancers,” said Michael Trusnovec, Paul Taylor Dance Co. member. “In the second half of the dance that I perform in, there is a more visceral attack and a darker, more animal-like physicality driven by the music’s intensity.”

“Dilly Dilly” (2016), with songs sung by Burl Ives — Taylor’s latest choreographic endeavor, “Dilly Dilly,” is quintessential Americana, featuring seven folk songs recorded by Ives. Cowboy hats, colored shirts and black jeans fill the stage as the dancers cavort about while performing a series of humorous dance mini-dramas.

“Paul hears the subtext and oddly dark humor in each of the Burl Ives tunes he’s selected for ‘Dilly Dilly’ and doesn’t always play into what’s expected to be seen,” Trusnovec said. “It’s something I’m drawn to as a dancer in his dances, and I always hope that audiences, young and old, will find something amusing and will be smiling when the curtain comes in.”

“Promethean Fire” (2002), with music by Johann Sebastian Bach, orchestrated by Leopold Stokowski — The culminating piece of the evening is “Promethean Fire,” widely regarded as Taylor’s greatest work this century. Costumed in black, the full company weaves in and out of intricate patterns that mirror how emotions weave themselves through life.

“‘Promethean Fire’ is a magnificent, visually stunning dance that is incredibly powerful, both for the dancers and the audience,” Trusnovec said. “The duet that emerges as the centerpiece of the work — currently danced by myself and Parisa Khobdeh — explores a relationship in which these individuals must come together through their heartbreaks, conflicts and struggle to find balance, patience and trust in one another in order to survive.”

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