There's been a lot of talk of royalty lately (did you watch the Royal wedding this weekend? How about that DRESS, right?? 😍 ). Well, if someone asked you to name American modern dance royalty, what would you say? Martha Graham, José Limón, Trisha Brown, and of course, Paul Taylor.
At 87 years old, Paul Taylor is still making dances. He's lead a remarkable life: he earned his degree from Juilliard in 1953, and assembled a group of dancers to perform his work in 1954. He performed as a soloist with the Martha Graham Dance Company for seven seasons and continued to choreograph for his own company, as well as New York City Ballet. Today he is one of the most recognizable names in dance, and he continues to develop new work on his company, which performs around the United States and internationally.
There's been a lot of speculation recently as to who would take over for his company, Paul Taylor American Modern Dance, because 87 is certainly no spring chicken! Well, we finally have our answer. In a press release distributed on Friday, the choreographer announced that he has created a new position for dancer Michael Novak called Artistic Director Designate. Mr. Taylor will continue in his role of choreographer and Artistic Director of the company while preparing Mr. Novak to take over as Artistic Director when Mr. Taylor chooses to retire.
Mr. Novak is fairly young to take on such a role - he's only 35, and has been a member of the company since 2010. He graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in Dance, and was a 2011 nominee for the Clive Barnes Dance Foundation Dance Award. Mr. Novak states: “Needless to say I am deeply honored and humbled that Mr. Taylor is entrusting me with his legacy. I am a big, big believer in the power and range of the Taylor canon. To help Mr. Taylor move his company forward in the 21st century and to be given the gift of guidance from Mr. Taylor as I begin this new phase of my career is a dream come true.”