Last week’s passing of the man considered to be the world’s greatest living choreographer was felt not just by those of us lucky enough to have danced for him, but by nearly everyone who experienced first-hand the thrill of his work, whether onstage, from the audience, or through the handful of films available to us.
To me, Paul Taylor’s dances were the embodiment of life at its highest, most ecstatic expression. Dancing his work gave me an outlet for everything unspoken inside me that was begging to come out. In the fantastical worlds he created – sometimes idyllic, sometimes brutal - I had full freedom to reveal all of the light and shadow inside me: pure joy, irrepressible sensuality, manic fear, grief, or rage...he accepted it, welcomed it, and gave it a space to live in its full truth. And he, the man, gave me a home and an extended family of kindred spirits, where I felt understood, and where I learned to fully accept myself.
There is a magical thing that happens when we dance. Paul pushed us to the very edge of our physical capabilities. The reward – for those few hours each night on the stage - was to transcend the earthly plane and arrive at a place where we felt so deeply alive, so in love with life, and so close to God. And we were never alone there! It was a magical, spiritual state that could be felt in the audience too: an all-consuming, infectious ecstasy that was carried out into the world even after the curtain fell.
This energy is still a part of me as I move through the world: it is the moving spirit in all of us, and the magic I hope is felt in a Dancing Amulet.
What moves your spirit? What makes you feel alive, in love, and fully accepting of all that you are? Tap into your personal magic and dance with it, you are a moving spirit!
PHOTO BY RICHARD CALMES