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Paul Taylor established the Paul Taylor 2 Dance Company in 1993 to ensure that his works could be seen by audiences all over the world, unhindered by economic or technical limitations. Mr. Taylor worked with longtime colleague Linda Hodes to create a company that could accommodate performance requests as well as teach and provide community outreach. Mr. Taylor looked back to the 1954 origins of the Paul Taylor Dance Company for the structure of his new company: six professionals with a particular gift for his style who perform his work throughout the world.
Engagements are flexible and are customized to meet the needs of each community, and often consist of master classes and lecture demonstrations in addition to performances in non-traditional venues as well as theaters. In selecting repertoire for Taylor 2, Mr. Taylor chooses dances that span the broad spectrum of his work. Several of the dances performed by Taylor 2 have been re-worked from the Paul Taylor Dance Company’s version to enable the smaller ensemble of dancers to perform them. Critics and audiences cheer as Taylor 2 introduces the athleticism, humor and range of emotions found in Mr. Taylor’s work.
Taylor 2 tours extensively. In the Spring of 1994, the United States Information Agency sponsored the Company’s first international tour that sent the dancers to the African nations of Mozambique, Botswana, Mauritius, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Swaziland. In January 1997 the company celebrated India ‘s 50 years of independence by touring in tandem with the Paul Taylor Dance Company. Taylor 2 India stops included Jamshedpur, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Pune and Lucknow. Taylor 2’s widespread domestic touring has already taken the Company to 46 states. Taylor 2 has completed significant statewide tours of Alaska, California, Colorado, Iowa, Montana, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin. The Company has also participated in a record ten New York State Long Term Residencies with support from the New York State Council on the Arts. It has also done extensive residencies in Albany, Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, St. Louis and San Francisco, teaching and performing for thousands of students.
Taylor 2’s Rehearsal Directors, all distinguished former Taylor dancers, followed the inspired leadership of founding rehearsal director Linda Hodes. They have included Richard Chen See, Mary Cochran, Patrick Corbin, Kristi Egtvedt, Francie Huber, Andy LeBeau, Susan McGuire, Thomas Patrick, Sandra Stone and Kenneth Tosti. Former Taylor dancer Ruth Andrien became Director of Taylor 2 in May 2010.
“Don’t think of it as a farm team. Think of it as Taylor Too. Taylor 2 is wonderfully intimate. Watching only six dancers perform Taylor works clearly reveals both structure and movement for an eye-opening appreciation of the master’s approach… It’s like hearing Mozart played on original instruments, or birds in the woods without traffic noise. There’s an authenticity about them that also speaks with the voice of authority: It’s easy to see why Taylor’s work stood out from the crowd right from the start. These dancers are every bit as skilled and delightful as the senior company and so eager, so ready to captivate, they can’t fail.” – Allison Tracy, Berkshire Eagle
“Inclusion in Taylor 2 is a major achievement and a significant rite of passage in the dance world…Taylor 2 is just as strong as the main company, in different ways. They’re really exciting and they bring a freshness to their work that can’t be duplicated. Taylor 2 is not preaching to the converted – wildly enthusiastic dance-world audiences. Rather, the company is bringing more people to the fold, helping them to appreciate dance and Taylor’s vision of it.” – Carrie Click, Aspen Times
“Saturday mornings in spring should always start with a jolt of dance by Paul Taylor performed by Taylor 2. The touring ensemble, an adjunct of the Paul Taylor Dance Company, offered a rare New York performance… It was an impressive event, presented by a group of highly individualistic dancers.” – Jennifer Dunning, New York Times
“If modern dance is – well – too modern for you, catch a performance by Taylor 2. Their performance of Aureole was ballet let loose – undeniably beautiful and incredibly romantic, but danced with a joyful abandon.” – Kay McLain, Herald-Sun
“The Taylor 2 company, a sort of younger sibling to the Paul Taylor Dance Company, was created for the purpose of bringing Mr. Taylor’s work to smaller venues. It features six dances, in no respect second-stringers, who danced their hearts and souls out in this demanding program.” – Diane Hubbard Burns, Orlando Sentinel
“The joy in watching the six-member Taylor 2 dance company perform…wasn’t just from the performances themselves. There was also the realization that, with Taylor 2, the works of Paul Taylor – one of the modern dance world’s leading choreographers – can now be shared with audiences in even the smallest venues. These fine performances showed that, in many respects, the dancers of Taylor 2 are No. 2 in name only.” – Karyn D. Collins, Asbury Park Press
“It’s small, travels light, and packs some of the best modern dance around.” – Valerie Sudol, Star Ledger
“Taylor 2’s highly skilled dancers gave a packed auditorium an absorbing evening of sheer virtuosity…After the Taylor 2 performance, Swan Lake will never seem quite the same.” – Ian Hoskins, The Herald