You know how it feels to run for the fun of it? Not for exercise, not to catch a bus, but because it feels good to use your muscles and move fast. Well, Paul Taylor knows that feeling too and exploits it. Look at a work like the 1975 Esplanade: the dancers tear across the stage, leap several body lengths into each other’s arms, tumble to the floor and roll to their feet again in a flash, vault onto each other’s backs to jump as high and as far as they can. Their billowing movements across the stage magnify what is already freewheeling, open-hearted music–Bach’s E-major and D-minor violin concerti. It’s as if Taylor’s dance has made visible a freshening breeze off a large body of water. He uses that same feeling in the year-old Company B, though here it’s muted by nostalgia, by memories of war and death and separation. Taylor dancers have a way of leading with the hips–whether they’re falling, jitterbugging, or clowning–that just pulls the rest of the body along in a fluid but controlled swoon. It’s beautiful to see, and you can see it next week in Chicago for the first time since 1984 when the Paul Taylor Dance Company appears at the Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker. Program A (Roses, Syzygy, and Company B) will be performed Wednesday at 7:30, next Friday at 8, and next Sunday at 3; program B (Esplanade, Last Look, and Company B) will be performed Thursday at 7:30 and next Saturday at 8. Tickets are $15-$33; discounts for Spring Festival of Dance subscribers. Call 902-1500 for tickets.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Jack Mitchell.