PAUL TAYLOR (WHO I WISH WOULD USE LIVE MUSIC) presented one of his newest works, Piazzolla Caldera, at the Alex Theater on April 25 to inaugurate his company's five-year residency in Glendale, and it is a fabulous work. When the piece opens, it feels like 2 a.m. in a smoke-filled building lit by bare bulbs, where the sweaty dancers have seemingly been at it for hours. Through the rhythm of their actions, Francie Huber, Richard Chen See, Thomas Patrick, Lisa Viola, Patrick Corbin, Silvia Nevjinsky and Andrew Asnes built an exhilarating and convincing drama that contained some of the most eloquent transitions and partnering seen in decades.
AS IF THE LAST THREE COMPANIES WEREN'T enough, L.A.'s own Diavolo Dance Theater supplied yet more faith in dance as a serious human activity, through a program of works by the seemingly inexhaustible choreographer and artistic director Jacques Heim. His abundance of imaginative vigor created the mythical Tête À Claque, where the dancers balanced on freestanding doors of different sizes, as well as the new sea fantasy, Trajectoire. The company of phenomenal dancers, seen on April 10 at El Camino College, seems primed for some sort of national Cirque du Soleil/Stomp/Blue Man Groupish modern-dance show. Maybe that's where Diavolo is headed. It will be interesting to see if Heim can keep the balance between art and commerce.