POST: 'Paul Taylor: American Modern Dance' - the beauty of structure

What it's about. 

A modern dance show. 

My experience. 

In order to appreciate dance, I don’t have to identify or understand the dance style - but I should focus on the elements of ensemble work.

As this was the first dance show I’ve ever seen performed by professional dancers, I came in with the understanding that these dancers have trained day in and day out to get to this point. I may not know much about the technicalities of dance, but I do know it takes a lot of work and training.

Most of my focus throughout this performance was on how strong and focused all the dancers were, and how incredibly they worked together. If I'm being honest, classical dance doesn't move me, so the emotional connection to the pieces wasn't there for me but the beauty of structure was still there. Every beat and step was accounted for, and each dancer added so much to the overall show that no one was better than anyone else.  I remember being taught that the size of the role we get is not important, but what is important is how we as performers work together. The show cannot go on without each and every performer. And it was the same for this dance show, as no dancer was more important than another, they all supported one another so beautifully. 

It made me miss performing, it reminded me how close I would get to my fellow actors and how vulnerable we were able to be with each other. To create an ensemble that is so supportive and trusting and never lets you down is one of the elements of performance that I miss most, because nothing would be possible without each and every one of us. 

In a way I wish I was able to more clearly identify the stories that the dancers told through their bodies, but since I personally do not view dance in that way, what I took from it was just what I saw, no hidden messages. And what I saw was strength and focus, I saw complete body control and fluidity. To be able to make me feel like everything came so easily to these dancers was probably not so easy for them to get to, and I love that.

I love having the idea in my mind that these dancers worked so hard, and they made it to Lincoln Center. They set a goal and reached it, I love seeing people succeed and make their dreams come true - so although the dance itself didn't move me, knowing that every person onstage made their dreams come true, that is what moved me. 

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