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?
James Whiteside (Jayme Thornton for Dance Magazine)
Say you're perpetually impeccable designer Thom Browne. Say you're planning your Spring 2020 Paris menswear show along a "Versailles country club" theme. Say you want a world-class danseur to open the show with some kind of appropriately fabulous choreography.
Who do you call? James Whiteside, of course. On Saturday, the American Ballet Theatre principal—wearing pointe shoes and a glorious pinstriped tutu—kicked off Browne's presentation at the École des Beaux-Arts with a 15-minute, show-stealing solo. Whiteside choreographed the piece himself, with the help of detailed notes from the designer.
I'd been a professional dancer for five years when I realized the pain I'd been feeling in my hip and down my sciatic nerve was not going away. I had been treating it for two years as we dancers do—with regular visits to my masseuse, physical therapy, baths, ice and lots of Aleve—but I never stopped dancing. It finally dawned on me that if I kept going at the speed I was going (which was, well, speedy), the pain would only get more severe and unrelenting, and I might never dance again.
I told myself I'd take two months off, and all would be better.
That first morning when I woke up at 10 am, I had no idea what to do with myself. My life until that moment had been dictated by class and rehearsal, every hour accounted for. How should I fill the huge swath of time ahead of me?