Paul Taylor Dance Company

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Paul Taylor Dance Company
General information
NamePaul Taylor Dance Company
Year founded1954; 66 years ago (1954)
Founding artistic directorPaul Taylor
Location551 Grande Street, New York City
Principal venueDavid H. Koch Theater
Artistic staff
Artistic DirectorMichael Novak
Deputy DirectorBettie de Jong
(Rehearsal director)
Andy Lebeau
(Rehearsal director)

Paul Taylor Dance Company, is a contemporary dance company, formed by dancer and choreographer Paul Taylor (1930—2018). The modern dance company is based in New York, New York and was founded in 1954.

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

Michael Novak was appointed artistic director designate by Taylor in the summer of 2018, and took over as artistic director in September 2018 after Taylor died.[1]


Paul Taylor Dance Company performing Taylor's Esplanade

The Paul Taylor Dance Company was founded in 1954. Taylor 2 Dance Company was created in 1993. One of the early touring companies of American modern dance, the Company has performed in more than 500 cities in 62 countries, with half of each performance season touring in American cities.[2] They first performed in Europe in 1960 and toured South America under several programs.

Twyla Tharp joined Paul Taylor Dance Company in 1963 and two years later formed her own company. Carolyn Adams joined the Paul Taylor Dance Company in 1965, becoming the company’s first African American dancer. During Adams seventeen year career with the company, she starred in several major productions including Orbs in 1966, Big Bertha in 1971; Aureole and Esplanade in 1975; and Le Sacre du Printemps in 1980.[3] 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, was his right hand for the past half-century. She finished her active dancing career in 1985.

The Taylor School has taught Taylor's style to professional-level dancers since 1984.[4]

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.

In 2015, Taylor began a new program, called Paul Taylor American Modern Dance,[5] in which works of modern dance by choreographers other than Taylor are included in the company's annual season at the Koch Theater.

Performances and repertory[edit]

Paul Taylor Dance Company's annual New York seasons have been presented at Lincoln Center's Koch Theater since 2012.[6] Prior to that, beginning in 1977, New York City Center hosted the company's seasons, which have typically lasted three weeks, comprising 20 or so dances.

Taylor created numerous formal dances, often to classical music, with complex patterning and intricate formations with tempos varying with the musical sections, from andante to allegro. Examples include Esplanade[7], Brandenburgs, Mercuric Tidings,[8] Aureole, Arden Court, and Promethean Fire.

Taylor's dramatic works include Big Bertha,[9] From Sea to Shining Sea, American Genesis, The Word, Speaking in Tongues, Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rehearsal), Last Look, Black Tuesday, and To Make Crops Grow.

Dancers and choreographers[edit]

  • Raegan Wood
  • João Mauricio Carvalho
  • Richard Chen See
  • Amy Young

The company members of The Paul Taylor Dance Company are:

  • Michael Trusnovec, has danced with Taylor 2, Cortez & Co. Contemporary/Ballet, and Corbin Dances.
  • Robert Kleinendorst, danced with the Gail Gilbert Dance Ensemble, and Cortez & Co. after moving to New York.
  • James Samson, studied as a scholarship student with David Parsons New Arts Festival, Pilobolus Intensive Workshop, Alvin Ailey Summer Intensive and joined PTDC in February 2001.
  • Michelle Fleet, joined the Paul Taylor Dance Company in September 2002.
  • Parisa Khobdeh, attended Paul Taylor and Martha Graham dance intensives in New York City and joined Paul Taylor Dance Company at the American Dance Festival in Summer 2003.
  • Sean Mahoney, was chosen as one of the first members of the Paul Taylor 2 Dance Company in 1993 and has danced for David Parsons, Alex Tresor, and Geoffrey Doig-Marx.
  • Eran Bugge, has performed in works of Amy Marshall, Katie Stevinson-Nollet, Jean Grand-Maitre, and joined Paul Taylor Dance Company in Fall 2005.
  • Francisco Graciano, has been a member of TAKE Dance Company, Michael Mao Dance, Cortez & Co. along with a couple of others. He joined Paul Taylor Dance Company in Spain in Summer 2006.
  • Laura Halzack, has performed with the Amy Marshall Dance Company, Syren Modern Dance and, studied at the Taylor school for two years before the Company in Summer 2006
  • Jamie Rae Walker, performed with American Repertory Ballet while studying ballet and joined Paul Taylor Dance Company in Summer 2008.
  • Michael Apuzzo, danced and choreographed in undergraduate companies and joined the Paul Taylor Dance Company in Fall 2008.
  • Michael Novak, has performed pieces by Bill T. Jones, Stephen Petronio, Vaslav Nijinsky, and participated in the Taylor Summer Intensive before the joining the Company in Summer 2010. In May 2018 Paul Taylor personally announced Mr. Novak would be appointed Artistic Director Designate Paul Taylor American Modern Dance effective July 1, 2018.
  • Heather McGinley, was member of the Graham II for two seasons and participated in the 2010 at The Taylor School then joined the Company in Spring 2011.
  • George Smallwood, first joined the Paul Taylor Dance Company in spring 2011 and later rejoined in Summer 2012.
  • Christina Lynch Markham, danced with Amy Marshall Dance Company, Stacie Nelson and the Dance Theater Company. She joined Paul Taylor 2 Dance Company in Summer 2008 and the Company in Spring 2013.
  • Madelyn Ho, performed with Urbanity Dance and joined the Paul Taylor Dance Company in Spring 2015.
  • Kristin Draucker, has danced with Michael Mao Dance, ArmitageGone!Dance, New Chamber Ballet since she moved to New York and joined the Paul Taylor Dance Company in Winter 2017.


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.[10]


Video performances[edit]

  • Diamond, Matthew; Taylor, Paul; Patton, Matthew; Kinberg, Judy; WNET (Station de télévision : New York, N.Y.) (1992). Speaking in tongues (VHS). Elektra Entertainment. OCLC 757655946.
  • Taylor, Paul; Kinberg, Judy; Diamond, Matthew; Venza, Jac; Loquasto, Santo; Asnes, Andrew; Benz, Rachel Berman; See, Richard Chen; Cochran, Mary; Corbin, Patrick; Cortez, Hernando; Echo, Jill; Egtvedt, Kristi; Grenke, David; Heilman, Caryn; Huber, Francie; LeBeau, Andrew; Nevjinsky, Silvia; Patrick, Thomas; Viola, Lisa; Nilsson, Harry; WNET (Television station : New York, N.Y.) (1996). The Wrecker's Ball: Three Dances by Paul Taylor (VHS). Thirteen/WNET. OCLC 430372378.
  • Taylor, Paul; Bach, Johann Sebastian; Busby, Gerald; WNET (Television station : New York, N.Y.) (1998). The Paul Taylor Dance Company (VHS). Nonesuch : Distributed by WarnerVision Entertainment. OCLC 1078010330.
  • Diamond, Matthew; Scheuer, Walter; Kupfer, Jerry; Taylor, Paul; Thomas, Ted; Echo, Jill; Egtvedt, Kristi; See, Richard Chen; Benz, Rachel Berman; Corbin, Patrick; Heilman, Caryn; Patrick, Thomas; Asnes, Andrew; Huber, Francie; Hurwitz, Tom (1999). Dancemaker (VHS). Docurama : Distributed in the U.S. by New Video Group. OCLC 43118504.


  1. ^ "Taylor, Paul B., (born 29 July 1930), choreographer; Artistic Director, Paul Taylor Dance Company, since 1954; President, Paul Taylor Dance Foundation (Board Chairman, 1966); Founder, Paul Taylor's American Modern Dance, 2014", Who's Who, Oxford University Press, 2007-12-01, doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.4000224
  2. ^ Kaufman, Sarah L.; Kaufman, Sarah L. (2016-05-26). "Paul Taylor's vintage works and classic joys". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  3. ^ "Carolyn Adams's Biography". The HistoryMakers.
  4. ^ "Paul Taylor Dance Company | The Lo-Down : News from the Lower East Side". Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  5. ^ Kourlas, Gia (2015-03-06). "Paul Taylor, at 84, Has a New Mission With American Modern Dance". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  6. ^ Seibert, Brian (2018-03-11). "Review: Paul Taylor Classics Outshine New Dances (His and Others’)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-26.
  7. ^ Kisselgoff, Anna (1975-06-11). "The Dance: Paul Taylor's 'Esplanade'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-26.
  8. ^ Macaulay, Alastair (2012-03-22). "Paul Taylor Dance Company at David H. Koch Theater". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-26.
  9. ^ "Paul Taylor’s Canon: Flippant, Savage, Idyllic". The New York Times. 2018-09-04. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-26.
  10. ^ "Board". Paul Taylor Dance Company. Archived from the original on 2017-03-19. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  11. ^ Wakin, Daniel J. "Paul Taylor to Receive Bessie Lifetime Achievement Award". ArtsBeat. Retrieved 2017-03-30.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°42′50.12″N 73°58′49.84″W / 40.7139222°N 73.9805111°W / 40.7139222; -73.9805111