CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Oct. 15, 2004 — Southeast Missouri State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance will present the professional dance company, Paul Taylor 2, in a one-time-only dance concert to be held at the Rose Theatre at 8 p.m. Oct. 29.
Paul Taylor has been called a genius; a legend; a cultural icon. Time calls him “the reigning master of modern dance,” and the New York Daily News declares him “the best choreographer in the world.”
Taylor grew up near Washington, D.C. He was a swimmer and a student of art at Syracuse University in the late 1940s until he discovered dance, which he then studied at Juilliard. By 1954, he had assembled a small company of dancers and presented his own choreography.
Taylor is the recipient of dozens of awards and honors. He was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Clinton in 1993. In 1992, he received an Emmy Award for “Speaking in Tongues,” produced by WNET/New York the previous year. He was a recipient of the 1992 Kennedy Center Honors. In 1995, he received the Algur H. Meadows Award for Excellence in the Arts for work that “endures as some of the most innovative and important the world has ever seen.”
Taylor was elected to knighthood by the French government as Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1969 and has since been elevated to the ranks of Officier (1984) and Commandeur (1990). In January 2000, he was awarded France’s highest honor, the Légion d’Honneur, for exceptional contributions to French culture. He is the recipient of three Guggenheim Fellowships and has received honorary doctor of fine arts degrees from California Institute of the Arts, Connecticut College, Duke
University, Juilliard, Skidmore College, the State University of New York at Purchase and Syracuse University. Awards for lifetime achievement include a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship – often called the “Genius award” – and the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award.
Paul Taylor established Taylor 2 in 1993 to ensure that his works could be seen by audiences all over the world, unhindered by economic or logistical limitations. Taylor looked back to the 1954 origins of the Paul Taylor Dance Company for the structure of his new company: six professionals with a particular gift for his style who perform his work throughout the world.
In selecting repertoire for Taylor 2, Taylor chooses dances that span the broad spectrum of his work. Many of the dances performed by Taylor 2 have been re-worked from the Paul Taylor Dance Company’s version to enable the smaller ensemble of dancers to perform them. Critics and audiences cheer as Taylor 2 introduces the athleticism, humor and range of emotions found in Taylor’s work.
Taylor 2 Rehearsal Directors, all distinguished former Taylor dancers, are Thomas Patrick, Francie Huber, Susan McGuire, Kristi Egtvedt, Ruth Andrien, Mary Cochran, Sandra Stone and Kenneth Tosti.
Tickets are $20 and may be purchased at the Performing Arts Box Office or by calling (573) 651-2265.