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Paul Taylor Dance Company

Axelrod Performing Arts Center
Event organized by Axelrod Performing Arts Center

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Paul Taylor, one of the most accomplished artists this nation has ever produced, continues today to shape the homegrown American art of modern dance as he has since becoming a professional dancer and pioneering choreographer in 1954. Having performed with Martha Graham's company for several years, Mr. Taylor uniquely bridges the legendary founders of modern dance – Isadora Duncan, Ruth St. Denis, Ted Shawn, Doris Humphrey and Martha Graham – and the dancemakers of the 21st Century with whom he is now working.

At an age when most artists' best work is behind them, Paul Taylor continues to win public and critical acclaim for the vibrancy, relevance and power of his dances. With over 140 witty, menacing and joyful creations to date, Paul Taylor continues to amaze audiences with his inventiveness and poignancy. The subject of the documentary films Dancemaker and Creative Domain, and author of the autobiography Private Domain, Paul Taylor is the recipient of nearly every major honor given to artists in the United States including the Kennedy Center Honors, the National Medal of Arts, an Emmy and a MacArthur Foundation "genius grant."

The Paul Taylor Dance Company features two "homegrown" dancers from the area: Sean Mahoney, who attended Princeton Ballet School and was a featured dancer with American Repertory Ballet; and Jamie Rae Walker, who also began her training with Princeton Ballet School. Michael Trusnovec, one of the company’s main dancers, is a weekend resident of Asbury Park where he owns a home. The other dancers performing with the company include: Robert Kleinendorst, James Samson, Michelle Fleet, Parisa Khobdeh, Eran Bugge, Laura Halzack, Michael Apuzzo, Michael Novak, Heather McGinley, George Smallwood, Christina Lynch Markham, Madelyn Ho, Kristin Draucker, Lee Duveneck and Alex Clayton.

Directly after their three-weeks’ long run at Lincoln Center, the Paul Taylor Dance Company is making their debut at the Axelrod PAC with three of their iconic original pieces.

Music by Bedřich Smetana: Dances from The Bartered Bride
Choreography by Paul Taylor
Set and Costumes by Santo Loquasto
Lighting by Jennifer Tipton
Using movement inspired by insects, the dance offers a comedic view of mating rituals, in which the female of the species is often the stronger, predatory partner.

Music by Astor Piazzolla and Jerzy Peterburshsky
Choreography by Paul Taylor
Set and Costumes by Santo Loquasto
Lighting by Jennifer Tipton
The music of tango – with Spanish, Italian, Indian, African and Jewish influences – was taken to new heights by the great Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla. Without a single authentic tango step, Paul Taylor captures the essence of tango culture. In a dimly lit dive, working-class men and women confront each other in sizzling duets and trios, each person desperate for a night of passion.

“Stunning. Taylor looks at the attitudes implicit of the tango – as sexual game, as social identity – and reshapes them. Seethes and flares with sexuality and develops a huge erotic charge. One of Taylor’s most astonishing (even for him) creations.” – Financial Times of London

AUREOLE (1962) ​
Premiering in August of 1962, Aureole was a departure for the young Paul Taylor who vowed his work would be “free from the cobwebs of time.” Aureole wasn’t a ballet, but it did have classical music—Handel—and a soaring spirit; completely new in that it was pure dance while referring to the classical past. Upon its premiere, at Connecticut College, Aureole alienated some of the hard-line modernists, who thought it too accessible, too lyrical. For everyone else it was love at first sight. “We thought we would have to take the bows in a hurry,” Taylor, remembers, “before they stopped clapping. But they didn’t stop.