The Man behind the “Mix”


The process of creating this piece has been one that is intense, but definitely rewarding. During our last rehearsal we ran through the piece, and I was pleasantly surprised at the progress we’ve made, both in learning the choreography and in embodying the nature of Taylor’s movement. For the class we also had a speaker, Suzanne Carbonneau, come in and give a presentation on Paul Taylor’s life and influence on the dance world. It was truly enlightening to get a greater perspective on the man who has in essence created an entirely new vocabulary of movement sprung from modern influences like Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham, as well his non-dance influences in artists like Robert Rauschenberg. One of the reasons I enjoy dance is the history behind it, and the meaning that both the audience and performer can find within movement. I was really interested in Taylor’s shifted approach towards the nature of dance throughout his career- how he began as a newcomer who sought to challenge the established modern status quo with really minimally choreographed pieces, and then grew to create pieces that fit more into his style and were not necessarily movement for movement’s sake. In Party Mix, the movement is certainly interesting and wild and creates fun and intriguing shapes, but it also creates a space for imagination for the viewer and performer— what kind of personalities and relationships do we see when watching the piece? Everyone may have different answers, but that makes it all the more fun to do.