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Thursday 7.16 

click to enlarge Paul Taylor Dance Company
  • Paul Taylor Dance Company

Durham
Paul Taylor Dance Company

Durham Performing Arts Center—Wunderkind or enfant terrible? In the 1950s, Paul Taylor's avant-garde dance pieces led doyenne of dance Martha Graham to declare him a "naughty boy." In 1992, he won the Emmy Award for outstanding choreographer for Paul Taylor's Speaking in Tongues. Hallmarks of his style include everyday gestures and collaboration with visual artists such as Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. (Taylor studied painting at Syracuse University.) Notable alumnae of his company include Twyla Tharp and Laura Dean. Taylor shows three works at ADF this year: The most recent piece, Beloved Renegade, premiered in 2008 and was inspired by the works of Walt Whitman. Mercuric Tidings (1982) uses excerpts from Franz Schubert's first and second symphonies to create what The New York Times calls "a work danced for the sheer joy of it." Scudorama, which premiered in 1963 as an ADF-commissioned work, is described by the festival as "a gem most Taylor devotees haven't seen, complete with a jazzy-classical score by Clarence Jackson." Sounds like a good chance to get into Taylor or, if you're already a fan, delve deeper into his canon. For more, visit www.americandancefestival.org. —Sarah Ewald


Durham
Steven Miller

Regulator Bookshop—For better or worse, the Republicans of the South helped shape the political landscape of the United States over the last several decades. In his new book, Billy Graham and the Rise of the Republican South, author Steven Miller explores the role the famed evangelist played in shaping the modern world below the Mason-Dixon Line, from his complex position on racial issues to his role in the Nixon administration. Through his look at Graham's life, Miller also helps shed light on the South's shifting identities and its complex history in the 20th century. Miller will discuss and sign copies of his book at the Regulator Bookshop starting at 7 p.m. Read our review of the book. For more information, visit www.regulatorbookshop.com. —Zack Smith

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