Anxious moments on the way to ADF
by Rob Tiller
We got over to the American Dance Festival last night to see Paul Taylor, but barely. As we got ready to head out, I asked Sally, our tickets custodian (or so I contend), if we had the tickets. We did not. Prior to the recent move, all tickets were in the tickets and bills drawer. Now, with quite a few boxes still to be unpacked, their location was unknown. As she searched possible spots, I called the box office, and spent a long time on hold. When I got through, the box office person could not verify that our name was in the tickets system, but said it was possible that another computer could do so when we showed up.
So, with a late start and no certainty of success, we made our first trip over to the new Durham Performing Arts Center. The nav system assisted competently. As turned into the public parking lot, I asked Sally if as I’d requested she’d gotten cash from the bank. She had not. Did she have some herself? She did not. The cost of parking was $5, and I had only $4. Credit cards, my normal fail safe, were not accepted. We had no idea where else to park or where to find cash. I strove to avoid injurious expressions of my unhappiness, but I felt my face forming into a mask of tension. Would we find a free parking space? Would we get tickets? Would we have time to eat? Would marital harmony be seriously disrupted?
We did the first three and avoided the fourth. There was a lovely free spot near the center. My box office conversation had apparently been relayed to the staff, and make up tickets were ready for us. We walked quickly over to the American Tobacco complex and tried Cuban Revolution, a 1960s-themed joint. Our server, Kirsten, took my urgent request to get us veggie burgers and wine and get us out in 30 minutes seriously, and we did it. The burgers came on baguette bread and were pleasantly spicey. We were in our seats with 5 minutes to spare. Relief.
The Paul Taylor dancers were athletic, exuberant, funny, and touching. Really a great company. I particularly enjoyed the first work, Mercuric Tidings, but the others, Scudorama and a new work, Beloved Renegade, were good. In prior years, we’d seen them several times in Page Auditorium at Duke, which was homey, tiny, and funky. The new venue is brand new and much bigger — less intimate but more comfortable. The sound system could use improvement, but otherwise, no complaints. As always, the ADF crowd was an eclectic mix — dancers, hipsters, university people, retirees, etc. It was good to be back.