Taylor's 100th Work: A Sweet-Tempered Spindrift

Where painters might hang their 100th work with a platinum plaque, choreographer Paul Taylor has called his 100th dance, premiered this season, Spindrift. The title is a term for sea spray, and the dance has the out-of-time look we associate with beach settings—so like Taylor to go ineffable when we expect ceremony. And yet, sweet-tempered Spindrift has the look of a master’s canvas: persimmon lights brush dark hues of soil and sky. The noble Andrew Asnes is a young god given to Faustian feeling, a hero who continually crumples to the ground as friends and lovers dance by. Spindrift is one of Taylor’s lyric wanderings, a wind-worn Winlerreise that reads like a musing on Taylor’s own mortality.

The season’s other new dance, A Field of Grass, is a pot party strung out on the songs of Harry Nilsson, purring chronicler of the flower-power era. Grass hasn’t the gunmetal glitter of the similarly structured Company B, but the floating, leaping dances Taylor has fashioned to Nilsson’s swinging rhythms accumulate a strangely grave power. A dreamy dance about escapism, Grass holds a deep breath ol sadness.

These two winners, along with some Taylor classics, will be at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhoyver Theater (202-4674600) February 22-27, and in Williamsburg, Virginia, March 1-2. -L.J.

Austin Baer is a Sew York—based writer. Laura Jacobs is editor in chief of Stagebill.