By HANS IBOLD
Express Staff Writer
Cutting edge contemporary dance comes to the valley this weekend, when
Taylor 2, the New York-based off-shoot of the Paul Taylor Dance Company, performs at Wood
River High School in Hailey.
Six dancers will perform six dances, Airs, Arden Court, Funny Papers,
Images and Runes and Esplanade, choreographed by Paul Taylor especially for
Presented by the Sun Valley Center for the Arts, the company performs
Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. in the high schools auditorium.
Paul Taylor has been a dominant force in dance for 45 years, and hes
been honored as such. He was knighted by the French; received a Guggenheim Fellowship and
a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship; received six honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degrees; won
an Emmy; and was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Clinton. The list goes
With that kind of prestige and acclaim, his Paul Taylor Dance Company grew
into one of the largest dance companiesand some say the bestin the world. But
it also meant that his work was only being seen in big cities, on big stages and in front
of audiences with big wallets.
That changed in 1993, when Taylor had an epiphany.
"He decided he wanted to reinvent himself," said John Tomlinson,
Paul Taylor Dance Companys director of operations. "He realized that his work
was more and more being performed in cities and less and less in rural communities. When
he started in the 1950s, it was six dancers in a station wagon trying to introduce America
to modern dance."
Taylor 2 harks back to those wagon days, when Taylors focus was on
"Its a new company of equal stature to the first, but its
flexible and affordable enough to go almost anywhere," explained Tomlinson.
"Taylor 2 concentrates on getting into communities where theres a passion for
modern dance but not the resources to bring in a huge modern dance company."
The dancers, who are rehearsed by Paul Taylor, tour 35 weeks each year and
have spanned the globe with Taylor 2.
In 1994, the U.S. Information Agency sponsored a tour that sent the
dancers to six African nations. In 1996, they gave performances and taught classes in the
Baltics and did the same in India the following year. Most of their time, however, is
spent in the U.S. offering performances and classes in what Tomlinson called "the
As for the dances choreographed for Taylor 2, each reflects the
athleticism, humor and range of emotions that are typical of Paul Taylors work.
"Pauls work is incredibly athletic, energetic, full of passion,
erotic and very beautiful, although sometimes things will be intentionally odd or
ugly," Tomlinson said.
The dances are, however, accessible.
"People get afraid of modern dance because they think theyre
not going to understand it, but thats not the case with Pauls work,"
Tomlinson said. "Dance should be for the eyes as music is for the ears. You listen
because its nice to listen to. Appreciating modern dance is an emotional process,
not an intellectual process."
There will be some intellectualizing in the master classes Taylor 2
dancers are offering during the weekend. The six dancers will share Paul Taylors
vocabulary and techniques with Footlight Dance Centre and Ballet School students.
Tickets for the Friday and Saturday performances are $20 or $18 for Center
members. For more information, call 726-9491.