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Paul Taylor: Dancemaker


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Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Taylor, Andrew Asnes, Rachel Berman Benz, Ross Kramberg, Thomas Patrick
  • Directors: Matthew Diamond
  • Producers: Jack Gulick, Jerry Kupfer, Walter Scheuer
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (PCM Stereo)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Docurama
  • DVD Release Date: February 29, 2000
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0767023447
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,932 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Paul Taylor: Dancemaker" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Rare full-length 1962 Paul Taylor performance of Aureole
  • Inspirations and interpretations behind Paul Taylor's dances
  • The complete Paul Taylor Dance repertory, plus biographies of Taylor and select dancers

Editorial Reviews

Nominated for an Oscar®, Dancemaker is a breathtaking journey into the world of preeminent choreographer, Paul Taylor, and his extraordinary creations. From the fluid Aureole to the primal Cloven Kingdom and graceful Esplanade, Taylor has remained at the

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 14 customer reviews
One especially telling moment in the film comes when the company is performing in India and the sound system fails.
Charles S. Houser
In this excellent documentary,we get to see how he goes about creating a modern dance work he named Piazzolla Caldera, which is set to the tango music of Piazzolla.
Joseph Falotico
This is a documentary DVD that shows every aspect of the creative forces involved in producing what I believe to be the most captivating of art forms.
J. Lizzi

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Charles S. Houser VINE VOICE on October 29, 2000
Format: DVD
This film is more than a portrait of a choreographer. It is a portrait of his company. And of the small, not-for-profit arts institution in America. From beginning to end the viewer gets a glimpse of what it takes for such an institution to survive and remain creative in an environment that doesn't always appreciate innovation and creativity. Director Matthew Diamond (himself a former dancer and choreographer) has done an excellent job of interweaving rehearsal and live performances with archival footage and talking heads (dance critics, administrative staff, technical crew, dancers, former dancers, and Taylor himself all get their say). Taylor comes across, in turns, as impish (fabricating stories to please the press), vague (struggling to communicate new steps to his dancers), nervous (constantly chewing gum), fearful ("my inspiration comes from fear"), and autocratic (in the course of the film he fires one of his dancers). But most of all, Taylor comes across as insecure and vulnerable. One especially telling moment in the film comes when the company is performing in India and the sound system fails. The dancers continue dancing in silence while the crew busies itself trying to fix the problem. The music comes back on and the company is in perfect sync. Taylor revealingly says, "My dance was ruined. And they were the heroes, not me. They stole the show." As one former company member put it when describing Taylor's origins: "There was [Martha] Graham and then there was this big dysfunctional family, and Paul Taylor was one of them....And they all brought their own dysfunction to their own companies."
The director should be applauded for the way he avoided dance cliches and dull, straight-on filming of dance performances.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By J. Lizzi on August 2, 2002
Format: DVD
This is a documentary DVD that shows every aspect of the creative forces involved in producing what I believe to be the most captivating of art forms. "Dancemaker" is long on intimacy, giving equal time to the minds, the hearts, the souls and the bodies which collaborate to produce great modern dance. The genius of Paul Taylor and Director Matthew Diamond combine to make an extraordinary documentary.
The first thing which struck me was the spontaneity with which Mr. Taylor was shown creating one of his new works. Standing side-by-side with one of his dancers, the two just ... moved ... and then conjectured about what might go next: "you could start this way ... and then, maybe ..." Very interesting. While there is a generous offering of studio footage, the recurring stereotype of the intensely driven dancemaster imploring his subjects to understand the gravity of his holy creation (you've seen this in movies) does not exist in this film. No cinematic exaggeration here: it's just the truest depiction of what happens as dance is created. In reality, the emotion and interaction between Mr. Taylor and his dancers is often more characteristic of a family than of a teacher/student relationship.
Aside from following people around, Mr. Diamond's camera gets to many places I've never seen before. I loved the views from the wings in the opening sequence ("Esplanade"), and also during the performance in India when the sound system went dead and the crew was trying not to be frantic during the silence (the dancers continued on without missing a step until the sound was restored!). I also got a kick out of the dancer in his hotel room explaining what he had to go through to wake up after a night of performing.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By RICHARD THOMAS on February 20, 2000
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
If you're relatively new to the world of dance (as I am) this film will make you jump for joy. It combines a loving overview of the amazing Paul Taylor's work with the intricacies of how a piece is created...you'll never look at dance them same way again! This film also pays tribute to the huge collaborative effort involved in creating and performing a piece and keeping one of the most talent-filled dance companies in the world up and running. The scene showing the group on tour when the music accidently stops and the dance continues uninterrupted is sheer poetry! This is worth watching over and over again. A gem of a film!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jim Olen on July 2, 2000
Format: DVD
Let's just put aside the fact that this is a brilliant look inside the world of Paul Taylor and Dance. And the fact that I now have a new found respect and reverence for what Paul Taylor has created over his lifetime. And the fact that as a novice to Dance myself, as Richard Thomas promised, I will never look at Dance the same again. These to me are givens.
Instead, let me say that Mathew Diamond has created a piece of film - a story - that is virtually perfect in every aspect. I challenge you to find a creative flaw in it. And though Paul Taylor is the subject and inspiration of this piece, Diamond is the star. "Dancemaker" is a thing of beauty all by itself.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jim Olen on July 2, 2000
Format: DVD
Let's just put aside the fact that this is a brilliant look inside the world of Paul Taylor and Dance. And the fact that I now have a new found respect and reverence for what Paul Taylor has created over his lifetime. And the fact that as a novice to Dance myself, as Richard Thomas promised, I will never look at Dance the same again. These to me are givens.
Instead, let me say that Mathew Diamond has created a piece of film - a story - that is virtually perfect in every aspect. I challenge you to find a creative flaw in it. And though Paul Taylor is the subject and inspiration of this piece, Diamond is the star. "Dancemaker" is a thing of beauty all by itself.
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