Mr. Taylor established Taylor 2 Dance Company in 1993 to ensure that his works could be seen by audiences all over the world regardless of economic considerations and the logistical limitations of non-traditional venues. He worked with longtime colleague Linda Hodes to create a company that could accommodate performance requests, teach classes, and provide community outreach. With six dancers, Taylor 2 is the same size as Mr. Taylor’s original Company. In selecting repertoire for Taylor 2, Mr. Taylor chose dances that reveal the broad spectrum of his work, sometimes reworking the original version to fit the smaller ensemble. Taylor 2’s engagements are flexible and are customized to meet the needs of each community. They often consist of master classes and lecture/demonstrations in addition to performances that often take place in non-traditional venues as well as in theaters.
CATHY McCANN Director of Taylor 2, was a member of the Paul Taylor Dance Company for 13 years. Among the 18 dances Mr. Taylor made on her were Mercuric Tidings, Brandenburgs, Musical Offering and Sunset. She was featured in five Taylor television specials, including the 1991 Emmy Award-winning Speaking in Tongues. In 1991, Mikhail Baryshnikov invited her to join the White Oak Dance Project, where she performed works by Mark Morris and Lar Lubovitch. Ms. McCann has staged Taylor dances for American Ballet Theatre, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, San Francisco Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet and Houston Ballet, among others, and her own choreography has been presented at New York City Center. She has been a faculty member of Adelphi University, Barnard College and Hofstra University, and has taught at the American Dance Festival and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. She was appointed to her current position by Michael Novak, Artistic Director of Paul Taylor American Modern Dance, in March 2019.
REI AKAZAWA was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, where she began her ballet training at the 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 in 2009. 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 Summer Intensive in 2012 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, in 2002. She has performed throughout the New York Metropolitan area as a soloist and ensemble dancer with Alison Cook Beatty 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. Ms. Stevenson 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.
JOHNNY VORSTEG grew up in Verona, New Jersey and began his formal dance training at 18, studying with Bil Badolato at New York University and at Peridance Capezop Center. He performed in Paul Taylor’s Company B at Montclair State University, where he earned degrees in Dance and English in 2013. He has danced in works by Taylor alumni Orion Duckstein, Annmaria Mazzini and James Samson, as well as in works by choreographers Chase Brock, Chet Walker, Geoffrey Doig-Marx and Nancy Lushington. He performed in La Cage Aux Folles with Phoenix Theatre. In 2011, he was the American Dance Guild Scholarship recipient to The School at Jacob’s Pillow. After dancing at The Taylor School, where he was awarded a scholarship, he joined Taylor 2 in Spring 2015.
JAKE DEIBERT was born in Atlantic City and grew up in Flemington, New Jersey. He attended The Taylor School Summer Intensive in 2012, and received a B.F.A. in Dance and Dance Education from Montclair State University in 2014. He performed with 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 joined 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. In 2016 she received a B.F.A. in Dance from the Conservatory of Dance with a Modern concentration from Point Park University, where she performed works by Martha Graham, Nicolas Petrov, Douglas Bentz, and Garfield Lemonius. 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. She joined Taylor 2 in Fall 2017.