Performing Arts: Dance
March 14, 2014
Legacy plans for single choreographer dance companies are becoming one of this generation’s most significant issues. One of the first to grapple with this complication was the Jose Limon Company. After years of turbulence, they found a strong direction supporting Limon’s legacy and inviting outside choreographers with sympathetic connections to create new works.

This model, preserving the choreographer’s canon and inviting choreographers to replenish the repertory was repeated by many including the high profile NYC Ballet, and Martha Graham Dance Company. Merce Cunningham took another route, disbanding the company while sustaing the foundation to oversee the Cunningham legacy and setting of Cunningham works on companies (similar to the Balanchine Trust).

Now Paul Taylor is planning his future: “I prefer to think that I will live forever—but at some point they won’t let me make dances anymore.” And whereas his physical body will ultimately succumb his body of work will live on. In a press conference at the Koch Theater, the Paul Taylor Dance Company announced Mr. Taylor’s plans to establish a coherent, legacy plan.

The $10,000 million campaign will be spearheaded by the sale of three of Mr. Taylor’s Robert Rauschenberg works of art at Sotheby’s including the Combines, Pink Clay Painting and Tracer. The lots will be auctioned off by Hugh Hildesley of Sotheby’s in May. Expected to raise $5million dollars, the works will kick off the fundraising campaign, and prove that Mr. Taylor is willing to put his own “skin” in the game.

A three-tier legacy mission replenishes the Paul Taylor canon with works by contemporary choreographers—to be selected by Mr. Taylor and the restoration of modern dance classics, from page to stage. One more development that will thrill many a dance-enthusiasts, the company announced the completion of joint talks with the musicians union, Local 802 about the use of live music, whenever possible, during the 2015 season.

When questioned about the contemporary choreographers Mr. Taylor might select, he smiled and replied, “I like movement and dance steps and I’m not wild about a lot of talking and equipment and special effects.” Well, that’s clear enough. This new direction will result in a name change from the Paul Taylor Dance Company, to Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Celia Ipiotis

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