Paul Taylor Dance Company's Next Step
From DM's conversation with Paul Taylor in the February issue:
DM: Paul, how do you want [the Paul Taylor Dance Company] to look in 25 years? â€¨
PT: Oh, well, I like it like it is. I don’t know how it could be better. There’ll be different people, of course, but I’ll find them.
DM: Have you verbalized any of that?â€¨
PT: No...well, actually there is a plan drawn up for when I can’t make dances—what will be done then. But the company is to go on.
Ah, Mr. Taylor, cagey as usual. Now, however, we know exactly what that plan is: Next year, the Paul Taylor Dance Company will reinvent itself as Paul Taylor's American Modern Dance. At a press conference yesterday, it was officially revealed that the new company will perform both dances by Taylor and other works by modern and contemporary choreographers.
Taylor and senior PTDC member Michael Trusnovec. Photos by Jayme Thornton for Dance Magazine.
About $10 million have been raised to fund this expansion (a good chunk of which came from Taylor's sale of artworks by his late friend and collaborator Robert Rauschenberg). PTAMD—we'll have to get used to the new acronym—will continue to perform each spring at the Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, and might even add a fall season at the venue.
Perhaps the most surprising change is that the company, which has battled in the past with the musicians' union over its use of recorded music, will feature live accompaniment when the choreography calls for it—welcome news for audiences and NYC musicians alike.
Here's to the new Taylor company. We'll be celebrating by soaking in Taylor's choreography at the Koch Theater for the next few weeks, during PTDC's typically rich spring season. Which choreographers do you think might enter the Taylor family fold next year?
It's a cycle familiar to many: First, a striking image of a lithe, impossibly fit dancer executing a gravity-defying développé catches your eye on Instagram. You pause your scrolling to marvel, over and over again, at her textbook physique.
Inevitably, you take a moment to consider your own body, in comparison. Doubt and negative self-talk first creep, and then flood, in. "I'll never look like that," the voice inside your head whispers. You continue scrolling, but the image has done its dirty work—a gnawing sensation has taken hold, continually reminding you that your own body is inferior, less-than, unworthy.
It's no stretch to say that social media has a huge effect on body image. For dancers—most of whom already have a laser-focus on their appearance—the images they see on Instagram can seem to exacerbate ever-present issues. "Social media is just another trigger," says Nadine Kaslow, a psychologist who works with the dancers of Atlanta Ballet. "And dancers don't need another trigger." In the age of Photoshop and filters, how can dancers keep body dysmorphia at bay?
If "Fosse/Verdon" whet your appetite for the impeccable Gwen Verdon, then Merely Marvelous: The Dancing Genius of Gwen Verdon is the three-course meal you've been craving. The new documentary—available now on Amazon for rental or purchase—dives into the life of the Tony-winning performer and silver-screen star lauded for her charismatic dancing.
Though she's perhaps most well-known today as Bob Fosse's wife and muse, that's not even half of her story. For starters, she'd already won four Tonys before they wed, making her far more famous in the public eye than he was at that point in his career. That's just one of many surprising details we learned during last night's U.S. premiere of Merely Marvelous. Believe us: You're gonna love her even more once you get to know her. Here are eight lesser-known tidbits to get you started.
Every dancer knows that how you fuel your body affects how you feel in the studio. Of course, while breakfast is no more magical than any other meal (despite the enduring myth that it's the most important one of the day), showing up to class hangry is a recipe for unproductive studio time.
So what do your favorite dancers eat in the morning to set themselves up for a busy rehearsal or performance day?
When it comes to dance in the U.S., companies in the South often find themselves overlooked—sometimes even by the presenters in their own backyard. That's where South Arts comes in. This year, the regional nonprofit launched Momentum, an initiative that will provide professional development, mentorship, touring grants and residencies to five Southern dance companies.