TAYLOR 2

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 technical limitations. Mr. Taylor worked with longtime colleague Linda Hodes to create a company that could accommodate performance requests as well as teach and provide community outreach. Mr. 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.

Engagements are flexible and are customized to meet the needs of each community, and often consist of master classes and lecture demonstrations in addition to performances in non-traditional venues as well as theaters. In selecting repertoire for Taylor 2, Mr. Taylor chooses dances that span the broad spectrum of his work. Several 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 Mr. Taylor’s work.

Ruth Andrien, Rehearsal Director

Photo: Tom Caravaglia

RUTH ANDRIEN danced with the Paul Taylor Dance Company from 1974 to1983, originating roles in such works as Esplanade, Runes, Airs, Images and Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rehearsal). She has restaged Mr. Taylor’s work for professional companies and universities around the world. Ms. Andrien has been on the faculty of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Swarthmore College, Harvard University, MIT, Southern Methodist University, The School at Jacobs Pillow, New York State Summer School of the Arts, The Taylor School and the American Dance Festival, where she directed the Paul Taylor Project for the past three years. She has worked closely with The American Dance Legacy Institute at Brown University, which focuses on preservation and access to American dance heritage. She served as master teacher for the National Foundation for Advancement of the Arts in Miami and for the U.S. State Department’s cultural exchange program in Tunisia. She was the recipient of Towson University’s Rosenberg Award for Distinguished Artists in 2002 and the Balasaraswati/Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching in 2009 with Carolyn Adams and Sharon Kinney. Ms. Andrien received her MFA in Dance at Hollins University in 2007. She became Rehearsal Director of the Paul Taylor 2 Dance Company in 2010.

Taylor 2 Dancers

Photo: Tom Caravaglia

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.

Photo: Tom Caravaglia

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.

Photo: Tom Caravaglia

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.

Photo: Tom Caravaglia

JOHNNY VORSTEG grew up in Verona, New Jersey and began his formal dance training at 18, studying primarily with Bil Badohelvetica 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.

Photo: Whitney Browne

JAKE DEIBERT was born in Atlantic City, NJ and grew up in Flemington, NJ. He received a B.F.A. in Dance and Dance Education from Montclair State University in 2014. He performed with companies including Rioult Dance NY, Von Howard Project, DiMauro Dance, Zullo/Raw Movement, 360Dance Company, Mazzini Dance Collective, 10 Hairy Legs, Douglas Dunn and Dancers and Earl Mosley’s Diversity of Dance. He attended the Taylor School Summer Intensive in 2012. Mr. Deibert made his debut with Taylor 2 in Summer 2017.

Photo: Whitney Browne

IRVING AMIGON was born in Brooklyn, NY and was raised in Minneapolis, MN and Puebla, Mexico. He received his B.A. in Dance from the University of Minnesota in 2011. He performed with Battery Dance Company and Alison Cook Beatty Dance Company. He studied at The Ailey School and The Taylor School on scholarship and at the Merce Cunningham Trust and Buglisi Dance Theater. He serves as assistant to Carolyn Adams in the Taylor Technique and Repertory Class – Professional Division at The Ailey School. Mr. Amigon made his debut with Taylor 2 in Summer 2017.

SLOAN PEARSON, a North Carolina native, began dancing at age three with Charlotte Ballet under the direction of Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and Patricia McBride. She attended Point Park University with a modern dance concentration and performed works by Martha Graham, Nicolas Petrov, Douglas Bentz, and Garfield Lemonius. After receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2016, she danced with Dayton Contemporary Dance Company II and Kybele Dance Theater, and as a guest artist with Debbie Allen in  performances throughout Los Angeles. Ms. Pearson joined Taylor 2 in Fall 2017.