Paul Taylor was one of the legendary tribunal that invented modern dance as we know it. (He's also the only one still alive, much less kicking out choreography.) Creator of some of the most innovative dance over the past half century, Paul Taylor’s avant garde sensibility sent confused audiences racing for the theater doors in the 1950s. Luckily for both his ego and modern dance, he's since been lauded around the world for his powerful ability to set the best and worst of humanity to movement. Shifting from sunny to disturbing to motion for the sheer joy of it, Paul Taylor’s visionary pieces reflect the world through his lucid and often humorous eye.
The company will perform three separate programs at Yerba Buena Center this weekend, each with a Bay Area premiere. Last season’s Three Dubious Memories hits San Francisco for the first time, set to a score by contemporary composer and pianist Peter Elyakim Taussig. Brief Encounters is a compelling and energetic work digging into the motives of people who prefer fleeting connections to ongoing relationships. Also Playing is a vaudeville revue featuring a toreador, a swan, and a star-struck stagehand, set to ballet music by Donizetti. The popular Promethean Fire will also be performed, with 16 dancers swirling and sliding to Bach.
March 30-April 3. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Novellus Theater, 701 Mission Street. Tickets start at $35. Call 415-392-2545 or sfperformances.org.