I have become mildly obsessed with Mantovani’s anodyne arrangement of “Charmaine,” perhaps the epitome of easy listening/elevator music. When I worked on Clybourne Park, it was one of the songs on Jim’s mixtape. I’ve just finished reading Joseph Lanza’s Elevator Music, which has a few additional tidbits about the song (I wish that Lanza had included song titles in his index).
What has been nagging me is the dance performance that I alluded to back in my 2016 post: I could not summon any memories of it, except bland white background paper, dancers in black, and a burly, bearded male dancer crossing his arms in exasperation. What was the company? Not Mark Morris, although the dancer had a similar build. Where did I see it? Probably at the Kennedy Center.
And then comes Brian’s Siebert’s story on the long-running collaboration between Alex Katz and Paul Taylor.
With the rift behind them, Katz and Taylor continued their mischief. “I said to Paul, ‘You’re so good you could choreograph to elevator music,’” Katz recalled. “And Paul said, ‘I’m not dancing to that trash.’ And three months later, he said let’s do it.” This was “Lost, Found, and Lost” (1982), a brilliantly funny piece with chic black costumes, a flat white stage world and recycled bits of “7 New Dances.”
Yep, the $100 Jeopardy! answer, Paul Taylor Dance Company, whom I have probably seen four or five times.
A hat tip to Angela Kane and her catalogue of Taylor’s works, which confirmed that “Charmaine” was indeed part of the score for this dance.