Paul Taylor Dance Company

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The Paul Taylor Dance Company performing Taylor's Esplanade.

Paul Taylor Dance Company, is a contemporary dance company, formed by Paul Taylor, an American choreographer of the 20th century. One of the early touring companies of American modern dance, the Company has "performed in more than 500 cities in 62 countries"[1] and still spends more than half of each performance season touring in American cities.

Paul Taylor originally performed in the companies of Merce Cunningham, Martha Graham, and George Balanchine, but founded his own, Paul Taylor Dance Company in 1954. Dancers/Choreographers who emerged from his company include Twyla Tharp, David Parsons, Laura Dean, Dan Wagoner, Elizabeth Keen, Christopher Gillis, Senta Driver, Amy Marshall, and Lila York.

Twyla Tharp joined the Paul Taylor Dance Company in 1963 and two years later formed her own company. Christopher Gillis joined in 1976. He was a member until his death in 1993. Bettie de Jong joined the Taylor Company in 1962. Noted for her strong stage presence and long line, she was Paul Taylor's favorite dancing partner and, as Rehearsal Director, has been his right arm for the past 51 years. She finished her active dancing career in 1985.

The Company has appeared in PBS programs nine times. In 1999, the PBS American Masters series aired Matthew Diamond's Oscar-nominated documentary about Paul Taylor and his company, Dancemaker.

In 2005, it was among 406 New York City arts and social service institutions to receive part of a $20 million grant from the Carnegie Corporation, which was made possible through a donation by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.[2][3]


The dance company consist of approximately 17 dancers, who are notable for the longevity of their careers with a single company.

As of March 2017, the most senior female dancer is Michelle Fleet, originally of the Bronx, who joined the company in 2002, after dancing with The Ballet Hispanico of New York and the Paul Taylor 2 Dance Company.[4][5]

The dancers are (with year of debut in the company):[4][5]


The Company is a charitable, not-for-profit organization managed by a board of trustees, which includes Taylor, as well as chairman C. F. Stone III, and vice-chairs Elise Jaffe, Scott King, Max R. Shulman, Stephen D. Weinroth, and Robert A. Scott, treasurer Joseph A. Smith, and secretary Joan C. Bowman.[6]


  • The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts says " of the world’s most exquisite ensembles."[7]
  • PBS refers to this Dance Company as "one of American's premier troupes"[8]
  • Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts says "One of the world's most brilliant dance companies..." and calls Paul Taylor "...a living legend."[9]

Performances on video[edit]

  • Nonesuch VHS (1992) Speaking in Tongues, ASIN: 6302550394
  • PBS Thirteen/WNET VHS (1996) The Wrecker's Ball (Company B, Funny Papers, A Field of Grass)
  • Warnervision VHS (1999) Paul Taylor Dance Company (Esplanade, Runes), ASIN: 1568327889
  • Docurama DVD (2000) Dancemaker, ASIN: 0767023447


  1. ^
  2. ^ Roberts, Sam (July 6, 2005). "City Groups Get Bloomberg Gift of $20 Million". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ Carnegie Corporation - News
  4. ^ a b Playbill, Paul Taylor American Modern Dance, March 7-26, 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Dancers". Paul Taylor Dance Company. Retrieved March 18, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Board". Paul Taylor Dance Company. Retrieved March 18, 2017. 
  7. ^ Kennedy Center: Information about Paul Taylor Dance Company
  8. ^ American Masters . Paul Taylor | PBS
  9. ^ Penn Presents: Paul Taylor Dance Company

External links[edit]