Paul Taylor: Creative Domain
Genre: Documentary, Biography
Year Released: 2015
Runtime: 1h 22m
Director(s): Kate Geis
Where To Watch: Coming to DVD & Streaming on November 1, 2022. Available on various websites where DVDs are found.
RAVING REVIEW: This isn’t a ground-breaking film, but what it does, it does incredibly well. I feel someone familiar with Paul Taylor’s background ahead of watching the film would probably appreciate this far more than I did.
This isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy the film, because I did! I just enjoyed it as an outsider looking in. This was a look into a world that I had never seen, I’ve been to the ballet a few times and have seen dance competitions before, but that’s nothing compared to the behind-the-scenes passion and dedication that go into this process.
Taylor is known for his creative process, unique choreography, and the secretive nature behind his work. This is an exhaustive look into a portion of this process and the creativity that goes into it. However, this goes beyond just the production itself; the film shows relationships, and the deep connection everyone involved had.
One of my favorite parts of watching documentaries is learning; I’ll still watch documentaries on subjects I know about. Still, the ones entirely new to me often connect with me the most. You can tell Taylor's connection with the dancers because he doesn’t look at them as employees but as part of his art, to the extent that he even calls them “paints.”
There’s something magical about seeing something as complex and powerful as this dance routine come to life. Although it’s still a relatively small piece of the overall production, it’s essential to be able to see from someone who has had such a long career and shown so little.
I will admit that Taylor's almost hypnotic voice works against him slightly in the film. I found myself feeling like I was falling into a trance while listening. Thankfully the editing would often bring in clips of different practices and routines just as I was about to float away each time. This was an interesting project, and I would love to hear from anyone who is more familiar with dance or Taylor’s work.
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