"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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