"I look forward to working with him to continue my vision," Paul Taylor says of his successor, Michael Novak. Photos by Bill Wadman, Courtesy PTAMD; Jayme Thornton

Paul Taylor Has Chosen His Successor

It's been a long time coming. Paul Taylor, who at 87 is still actively making dances, has named the person who will succeed him at the head of the various organizations that bear his name: Paul Taylor Dance Company member Michael Novak.

The announcement has come with no small amount of surprise, as longtime PTDC dancer Michael Trusnovec has long been considered the heir apparent. But, as was announced today, Taylor has appointed 35-year-old Novak as artistic director designate, effective July 1. As Taylor told The New York Times, "I thought he was just next in line. I've watched him for some time. He pays attention, and I know that he's listening."


Novak joined PTDC in 2010 after graduating from Columbia University with a B.A. in Dance. He will take over the artistic direction of not only the company, but also the other organizations under the umbrella of the Paul Taylor Dance Foundation, such as Paul Taylor American Modern Dance, which presents outside choreographers alongside Taylor works, the second company Taylor 2, the Taylor School and the Taylor archives.

Novak will continue to perform with the company as he begins learning the ropes, and will take over when Taylor chooses to step down.

"Needless to say I am deeply honored and humbled that Mr. Taylor is entrusting me with his legacy," Novak said in a press release. "I am a big, big believer in the power and range of the Taylor canon. To help Mr. Taylor move his company forward in the 21st century and to be given the gift of guidance from Mr. Taylor as I begin this new phase of my career is a dream come true."

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TaraMarie Perri in tree pose at Storm King Art Center. Photo by Sophie Kuller, Courtesy Perri

5 Self-Soothing Exercises You Can Do to Calm Your Anxiety

Physical stillness can be one of the hardest things to master in dance. But stillness in the bigger sense—like when your career and life are on hold—goes against every dancers' natural instincts.

"Dancers are less comfortable with stillness and change than most," says TaraMarie Perri, founder and director of Perri Institute for Mind and Body and Mind Body Dancer. "Through daily discipline, we are trained to move through space and are attracted to forward momentum. Simply put, dancers are far more comfortable when they have a sense of control over the movements and when life is 'in action.' "

To regain that sense of control, and soothe some of the anxiety most of us are feeling right now, it helps to do what we know best: Get back into our bodies. Certain movements and shapes can help ground us, calm our nervous system and bring us into the present.

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