October 28, 1996 12:00 PM

Great Performances, PBS (Wed., Oct. 30, 10 p.m. ET)

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The wrecker’s ball is demolishing an old Manhattan dance hall as this outstanding special begins, but the punning title also suggests a dance of death. Famed American choreographer Paul Taylor (who does a cameo as a derelict with a crackling radio) uses popular songs from the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s—including tunes by the Andrews Sisters, novelty rock classics like “Yellow Polkadot Bikini” and even ballads by Harry Nilsson—for three enthralling dances about longing, love and war. The young dancers are dazzling, especially soloists Patrick Corbin and Kristi Egtvedt. Unmissable.

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