Paul Taylor, with Susan Jones, rehearsing his work Black Tuesday. American Ballet Theatre, 890 Broadway, 2001
Airs was the first. ABT premiered it in spring of 1981 and I had the good fortune of being assigned to learn and maintain it. An undeniable honor. Since we premiered it on tour, we were not graced with Mr Taylor’s presence in the rehearsal process. But before doing it in NYC, he came to see a run-thru and, we hoped, to receive his blessing. Naturally all were nervous, including me. We ran it for him and, once the dancers had retrieved their breath, he gathered everyone together and had them sit on the floor at his feet. I was on the edge of my seat. He remarked that everyone had done “very well”. Then he paused. “But you look like you all need to go out to lunch together!” Instant relief! Corrections were given, as well as his blessing, and our eyes were opened to the sense of community critical to his works. In the next decade ABT performed Sunset, Company B and did the world premiere of Black Tuesday. What a treasure to have a photo of the two of us in a Black Tuesday rehearsal as we giggled about the pregnant lady in “Sittin’ on a Rubbish Can”.
American Ballet Theatre