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Paul Taylor’s renowned Taylor 2, composed of six professionals with a particular gift for his style, are headed back to the Schimmel for their fourth appearance!
Music: George Frideric Handel
Set and Costumes: George Tacet
Lighting: Thomas Skelton
Date First Performed: August 4, 1962
Notes: “Aureole, perhaps his first major success, was the first time Taylor combined his loping antelope style of movement with baroque music, and its grace and individuality instantly spun into orbit throughout the world of dance. There is an interestingly variegated luminosity of spirit that recalls fluffy clouds on Shakespeare’s summer’s day.” – Clive Barnes, New York Post
Music: Francis Poulenc
Set and Costumes: Gene Moore
Lighting: Jennifer Tipton
Date First Performed: June 1, 1977
Notes: “The man is a genius [which he demonstrated] again with a fantastic new and macabre ballet. Remarkably well danced, with the company moving through this Goya-like vision of hell-in-life with the even-humored energy of athletes.“ – Clive Barnes, New York Times
Music: Astor Piazzolla and Jerzy Peterburshsky
Set and Costumes: Santo Loquasto
Lighting: Jennifer Tipton
Date First Performed: June 12, 1997
Notes: Neruda wrote of poetry that mirrors “the flawed confusion of human beings,” poetry “worn away as if by acid by the labor of hands, impregnated with sweat and smoke, smelling of lilies and of urine, splashed by the variety of what we do, legally or illegally… as impure as old clothes, as a body, with its foodstains and its shame, with wrinkles, observations, dreams, wakefulness, prophecies, declarations of love and hate, stupidities, shocks, idylls….” He might have been describing the predatory dance that originated in the brothels of Buenos Aires at the turn of the 20th Century: tango. The music of tango – with Spanish, Italian, Indian, African and Jewish influences – was taken to new heights by Astor Piazzolla. Without a single authentic tango step, Paul Taylor captures the essence of tango culture. In a dimly lit dive, working class men and women confront each other in sizzling sexual duets and trios: men with women, men with men and women with women. Two men too drunk for conquests perform a loopy dance as lamplights sway dizzily overhead. A woman who has searched desperately for a partner but failed to find one, collapses – as if mortally wounded by a night without passion.“Stunning. Taylor looks at the attitudes implicit of the tango – as sexual game, as social identity – and reshapes them. Seethes and flares with sexuality and develops a huge erotic charge. One of Taylor’s most astonishing (even for him) creations.” – Clement Crisp, Financial Times of London
ALANA ALLENDE grew up in Wyckoff, New Jersey. A graduate of LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, she attended Long Island University – Brooklyn Campus. She was an Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Fellowship Recipient from 2003 to 2008, and performed Judith Jamison’s Hymn at the Ailey company’s 45th Anniversary Opening Night Gala. As a company member of CityDance2 Ensemble in 2009-10, Ms. Allende toured to Bahrain, performed throughout Washington, DC, and helped bring dance to schools in the DC area through the company’s outreach program. She joined Taylor 2 in Summer 2010.
LEE DUVENECK grew up in Arlington, Texas, where he trained with Anne Oswalt and Gwen Price. He earned his B.F.A. in dance performance from Southern Methodist University in 2010, having performed works by Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp and Danny Buraczeski. While in New York, he has danced for Annmaria Mazzini and Mari Meade. He joined Taylor 2 in Summer 2012.
REI AKAZAWA was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, where she began her ballet training (Royal Academy of Dance) under the direction of Yuko Kojima. She graduated cum laude with a B.F.A. in Dance from Marymount Manhattan College, receiving the Gold Key for Excellence. While a student there, she assisted in teaching and demonstrating Graham Technique Master Classes for Miki Orihara and Alessandra Prosperi. She has danced with H.T. Chen and Dancers, Douglas Dunn and Dancers, and played the role of Eliza in The King and I at Walnut Street Theater in Philadelphia. She participated in The Taylor School 2012 Summer Intensive and joined Taylor 2 immediately afterward.
AMANDA STEVENSON is originally from Tempe, Arizona, where she started her ballet training with Andrew Needhammer of Ballet Arizona Dance Company and School. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a B.F.A. majoring in Dance, with an emphasis on Modern Dance and Choreography. Ms. Stevenson has performed throughout the New York Metropolitan area as a soloist and ensemble dancer with ACB Dance Company, Mazzini Dance Collective and EDP Dance Project. She has been a teaching artist with the Joffrey Ballet School, Rioult Dance Company and Education In Dance. She participated in the 2008 and 2009 Taylor Intensives and received a scholarship to attend The Taylor School. She also studied at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance. She joined Taylor 2 in Summer 2013.
PRINCETON McCURTAIN, a native of Fort Smith, Arkansas, began his training as a scholarship student at Centenary College of Louisiana. After appearing in the movie The Great Debaters he transferred to Grambling State University to dance with the Orchesis Dance Company, and later received his Bachelor’s degree in theatre. He became a member of Louisiana Dance Theatre in 2010, and his choreography was entered into Regional Dance America’s Emerging Choreographer Scholarship Competition. After studying at The Ailey School, he became a member of Keen Dance Theater, performed with the Aido Kodo Dance Company, and appeared on Guyana’s version of So You Think You Can Dance. He joined Dallas Black Dance Theatre II in 2012, and Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble a year later. He joined Taylor 2 in Spring 2014.
JOHNNY VORSTEG grew up in Verona, New Jersey and began his formal dance training at 18, studying primarily with Bil Badolato at New York University and later at Peridance Capezio Center. He has danced in works by Taylor dancers Annmaria Mazzini, James Samson and Orion Duckstein, and by Chase Brock, Chet Walker, Geoffrey Doig-Marx and Nancy Lushington. He performed in Paul Taylor’s Company B at Montclair State University, where he earned degrees in Dance and English. He also performed in La Cage Aux Folles with Phoenix Theatre. In Summer 2011 Mr. Vorsteg was the recipient of the American Dance Guild Scholarship to the School at Jacob’s Pillow. He began dancing at The Taylor School in 2013 and was later awarded a scholarship to continue studies there. He joined Taylor 2 in Spring 2015.