To have attended the Paul Taylor Dance Company’s month-long spring season at City Center night after night—six different programs, each comprising three ballets—was to be overwhelmed by the scope of one man’s creative imagination. But if Taylor’s dances sometimes suggest the machinations of a wild and crazy guy, his almost folksy manner, as glimpsed on a recent PBS “Dance in America” broadcast, belies it. His commentary, laconic and deceptively casual, provided some tantalizing insights into the working methods and aesthetics of this remarkable artist.

Taking us on a tour of the property that surrounds his country home on Long Island’s North Fork, he pointed out some of the construction projects he’s set himself, using driftwood and other objects that have washed up on the shore: a stairway leading down from his house to the beach; a gazebo; a shack he calls “the little...


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