Paul Taylor Dance Company’s Future Assured

Robert Kleindorst and Eran Bugge in Paul Taylor's "Esplanade."
Robert Kleindorst and Eran Bugge in Paul Taylor’s “Esplanade.”

Paul Taylor, dancemaker extraordinaire, has been making plans for his eponymous company’s future this year.He renamed his endeavors Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance, to include performances by other companies in the Spring season at Lincoln Center.

Now, Taylor has commissioned three stellar choreographers to create works on his company. Hitching the unique talents of his athletic troupe to the designs of contemporary masters of modern dance insures the future of the Paul Taylor Dance Company. It also redefines the repertory.

Taylor’s own works have been carefully preserved and regularly performed. His legacy is secured not in a museum of dance, or only on film, as some works have been, but in presentation before audiences.

Photo by Stephanie Berger.
Photo by Stephanie Berger. Shen Wei Dance Arts in “Rite of Spring.”

Taylor said that he is namingTaylor Company Commissions because new work is “the lifeblood of a modern dance company… and (to) give the next generation of outstanding choreographers an opportunity to work with my brilliant dancers.”

Doug Elkins, Larry Keigwin and Lila York were hand-picked by Taylor to create work on the Paul Taylor Dance Company.

Elkins, currently of doug elkins choreography etc and a full-time faculty member at Mason Gross School of the
Arts at Rutgers, started out in break-dance, and has since won numerous awards for his creativity.

Kegwin has danced his way from the Metropolitan Opera to downtown clubs to Broadway and back. He founded KEIGWIN + COMPANY in 2003, and has created dance for his troupe and for other groups around the world and for musical theater productions such as the 2011 off-Broadway “Rent.”

York is a twelve-year veteran of PTDC, who since 1990 has choreorgrapher for Birmingham Royal Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet, San
Francisco Ballet, Boston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Scottish Ballet, NBA Ballet of Tokyo, Washington Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Ballet West, American Repertory Ballet, Connecticut Ballet Theatre, The Parsons Company, The Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble, and The Juilliard Dance Ensemble among a myriad of other companies.

Each dance-maker will have six weeks to choreograph on the Paul Taylor Dance Company at Taylor’s Grand Street Studios.

This season PTAMD also embraced the work of other choreographers, with outside companies performing works. The Limón Dance Company will present Doris Humphrey’s 1933  Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor to the accompaniment of organist Kent Tritle  Shen Wei Dance Arts will perform Shen’s take on Rite of Spring.

What a program we could make with a Taylor, Shen Wei, and Nijinsky version of Stravinsky’s The Rites of Spring!

Taylor has also embraced a live orchestra for this season. The Orchestra of St Luke’s are in the pit under the direction of Pablo Heras-Casado. while the dancers perform. For his Beloved Renegade, Soprano Devon Guthrie and St. George’s Choral Society, led by Artistic Director and Conductor Matthew Lewis sing Francis Poulenc’s Gloria, along with The Orchestra of St Luke’s under Taylor’s Musical Director Michael York.

The goal of all this fanfare is the preservation and celebration of modern dance, which Taylor has called an ” indigenous American art.”

For more information on the spring season at Lincoln Center, please visit


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