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Scudorama

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Paul Taylor American Modern Dance / New York / Stage

It was filmed in black and white in 1963, the year of its premiere, and the film is now up for viewing on the Paul Taylor Dance Company website (along with a number of other works). “Scud is supposed to be a dance of death leavened by light touches,” Taylor wrote. But that’s not how it comes off. As the dance blog Ballet Voice explains in entry No. 29, posted after a performance of the work last fall, “Scudorama’s movement language is Paul Taylor’s devastating parody of both Martha Graham’s idiom and Broadway flash. So insistent are these references, the dance spectacle reads as an exorcism. If ever dance parody could be said to be hilarious, poetic, and therapeutic, all simultaneously, here is the evidence.” Taylor and the great Bettie de Jong are among the dancers. The commissioned score by Clarence Jackson is amazing. —L.J.

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