Mr. Taylor is a quintessential modernist, rebelling against convention and always looking toward the future. As he continued to embrace new challenges, in 2012 Mr. Taylor he moved the Paul Taylor Dance Company’s annual New York City performances to Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, one of the world’s greatest cultural centers. The first modern dance company to call Lincoln Center home, it attracted larger audiences and higher ticket revenue there than ever before.
Building on that success, in 2015 Mr. Taylor announced a new program: Paul Taylor American Modern Dance. Through this initiative Mr. Taylor began to present historic masterworks of American modern dance choreographed by many of his great contemporaries. He also engaged dancers ideally suited to perform those works. In the last four seasons Mr. Taylor has presented the Limón Dance Company in Doris Humphrey’s Passacaglia from 1938, Shen Wei Dance Arts in Shen Wei’s Rite of Spring from 2004, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company in Donald McKayle’s Rainbow ’Round My Shoulder from 1959, Lyon Opera Ballet in Merce Cunningham’s Summerspace from 1958, the Trisha Brown Dance Company in Trisha Brown’s Set and Reset from 1983; and the Taylor Company in Martha Graham’s Diversion of Angels from 1948.
In addition to reviving modern dance masterworks of the past, Mr. Taylor is commissioning contemporary choreographers through Taylor Company Commissions. To date commissions have been given to choreographers Larry Keigwin, who created Rush Hour; Doug Elkins, who created The Weight of Smoke; Taylor alumna Lila York, who created Continuum; Bryan Arias, who created The Beauty in Gray; and Doug Varone, who created Half Life. All of these works were created on the Paul Taylor Dance Company and presented during the Paul Taylor American Modern Dance seasons at Lincoln Center.
An integral element of Mr. Taylor’s vision for Paul Taylor American Modern Dance is the marriage of live music and dance. Beginning in 2015 Orchestra of St Luke’s has partnered with the Paul Taylor Dance Foundation to provide live musical accompaniment to deepen the performance experience, whenever so intended by the choreographer.
Paul Taylor American Modern Dance has become a standard of excellence in the presentation of modern dance in New York City, and Mr. Taylor has made great strides in creating a home to celebrate the magnificent history of modern dance as well as ensuring its successful future.