Paul Taylor’s gravity-defying masterwork Esplanade, danced to Bach by the Taylor 2 company, tops a packed lineup for this year’s Diversity in Dance, the annual showcase of dance sponsored by The Yard.
The performance begins Sunday, July 20, at 6:30 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, with a dessert and champagne reception with the cast following.
Also in Diversity in Dance are Gus Solomons jr, a leading figure in postmodern and experimental dance, and Carmen de Lavallade, muse to Alvin Ailey and others; works by The Yard’s late founder Patricia Nanon performed by Vineyard dancers Jil Matrisciano, Daryl Owens and guest artists; and a piece created especially by and for Island kids.
Esplanade, Eric Taub of Ballet Magazine wrote, reminds us that “physicists say that gravity’s not such a strong force after all.” Choreographed in 1975, it’s a showcase of virtuosity in which dancers revel in the sheer joy of pushing basic movements to Olympic extremes.”
Yard Artistic director Wendy Taucher says she chose the piece for this concert because “it is one of the best 22 minutes a person can spend. Esplanade consists of deceptively simple movement that can only be performed by the most highly skilled dancers. Structurally, it is as wildly sophisticated and seemingly simple as the Bach it’s danced to. It’s an enduring classic — which is what we hope Patricia’s legacy will be on this Island.”
The concert will feature excerpts from some of the best pieces created by Patricia Nanon over her years at The Yard, including the 2007 Water Sketches, which many people consider her finest work.
Longtime Yard executive director DiAnn Ray and Sandra Stone, former star of the Paul Taylor Dance company, Yard associate artistic director and director of RISE Vineyard Performing Arts, are the honorary chairs.
Tickets range from $10 to $100. For premium seating and party, admission is $100; it’s $50 for premium seating; $20 general admission; $10 general admission for seniors/under 30.