TAYLOR 2

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.  Former Taylor dancer Ruth Andrien was named Rehearsal Director of Taylor 2 in 2010.

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 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.

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, 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.

Photo: Tom Caravaglia

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.

Photo: Whitney Browne

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.

Photo: Whitney Browne

IRVING AMIGON was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Puebla, Mexico. He received his B.A. in Dance from the University of Minnesota in 2011 under the mentorship of Toni Pierce-Sands. He was granted a full scholarship at The Ailey School and studied under the direction of Tracy Inman and the mentorship of Carolyn Adams and went on to study at The Taylor School, Merce Cunningham Trust and Buglisi Dance Theater. Mr. Amigon performed with Battery Dance Company, Earl Mosley and Alison Cook Beatty Dance Company. He joined Taylor 2 in Summer 2017.

Photo: Whitney Browne

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.