PTDC

“The American spirit soars whenever Taylor’s dancers dance.” – San Francisco Chronicle

Dance maker Paul Taylor first presented his choreography with five other dancers in Manhattan on May 30, 1954.  That modest performance marked the beginning of 64 years of unrivaled creativity, and in the decades that followed, Mr. Taylor became a cultural icon and one of American history’s most celebrated artists, hailed as part of the pantheon that created American modern dance.

The Paul Taylor Dance Company has traveled the globe many times over, bringing Mr. Taylor’s ever-burgeoning repertoire to theaters and venues of every size and description in cultural capitals, on college campuses and in rural communities – and often to places modern dance had never been seen before.  The Taylor Company has performed in more than 500 cities in 64 countries, representing the United States at arts festivals in more than 40 countries and touring extensively under the aegis of the U.S. Department of State. In 1997 the Company toured throughout India in celebration of that nation’s 50th Anniversary. Its 1999 engagement in Chile was named the Best International Dance Event of 1999 by the country’s Art Critics’ Circle. In the summer of 2001 the Company toured in the People’s Republic of China and performed in six cities, four of which had never seen American modern dance before, and has since returned on four separate multi-week tours. In the spring of 2003 the Company mounted an award-winning four-week, seven-city tour of the United Kingdom. The company regularly tours throughout North America, South America, Asia and Europe.

While continuing to garner international acclaim, the Paul Taylor Dance Company performs more than half of each touring season in cities throughout the United States.  In celebration of the Company’s 50th Anniversary and 50 years of creativity, the Taylor Foundation presented Mr. Taylor’s works in all 50 States between March 2004 and November 2005. That tour underscored the Taylor Company’s historic role as one of the early touring companies of American modern dance.Beginning with its first television appearance for the Dance in America series in 1978, the Paul Taylor Dance Company has appeared on PBS in ten different programs, including the 1992 Emmy Award-winning Speaking in Tongues and The Wrecker’s Ball — including Company B, Funny Papers, and A Field of Grass— which was nominated for an Emmy Award in 1997. In 1999 the PBS American Masters series aired Dancemaker, the Academy Award nominated documentary about Mr. Taylor and his Company.  In 2013, PBS aired Paul Taylor Dance Company in Paris, featuring Brandenburgs and Beloved Renegade.  The 2014 documentary Paul Taylor Creative Domain won critical and public acclaim for its revelation of Mr. Taylor’s creative process, as it followed the famously private choreographer and his Company through the entire process of creating a new work from initial concept to opening night.

Rehearsal Directors

Photo: Bill Wadman

BETTIE DE JONG (Rehearsal Director) was born in Sumatra, Indonesia, and in 1946 moved to Holland, where she continued her early training in dance and mime. Her first professional engagement was with the Netherlands Pantomime Company. After coming to New York City to study at the Martha Graham School, she performed with the Graham Company, the Pearl Lang Company, John Butler and Lucas Hoving, and was seen on CBS-TV with Rudolf Nureyev in a duet choreographed by Paul Taylor. Ms. de Jong joined the Taylor Company in 1962. Noted for her strong stage presence and long line, she was Mr. Taylor’s favorite dancing partner and, as Rehearsal Director, continues to be his surrogate in the studio and on tour for more than 40 years. In 2019, she received the 2019 Balasaraswati/Joy Anne Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching Award from American Dance Festival for her substantial contributions to the sustainment of the Taylor legacy.
Read TaylorNotes Interview HERE.

Photo: Bill Wadman

ANDY LEBEAU (Rehearsal Director) was raised in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He graduated from the Boston Conservatory of Music with a B.F.A. in dance in 1993.  He then moved to New York City to be one of the original members of Taylor 2.  Two years later he was invited to join Paul Taylor Dance Company.  After retiring from the stage in 2005, Andy served as Director of The Taylor School, then Director of Taylor 2, Company Manager, and Rehearsal Assistant to Mr. Taylor.  He works closely with Mr. Novak and Ms. Bettie de Jong.

Cathy McCann Headshot
Photo: Bill Wadman

CATHY McCANN (Rehearsal Director) 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 Director of Taylor 2 from 2019 – 2020, and was appointed Rehearsal Director in Summer 2020.

PTDC Dancers

Eran Bugge
Photo: Bill Wadman

ERAN BUGGE is from Oviedo, Florida where she began her dance training at the Orlando Ballet School, and went on to study at the Hartt School at the University of Hartford under the direction of Peggy Lyman, graduating Summa Cum Laude with a B.F.A. in Ballet Pedagogy in 2005. She attended The Taylor School and the 2004 and 2005 Taylor Summer Intensives.  Ms. Bugge has performed in works by Amy Marshall, Katie Stevinson-Nollet and Jean Grand-Maître. She was also a member of Full Force Dance Theatre and the Adam Miller Dance Project.  In 2012, Ms. Bugge was the recipient of the Hartt Alumni Award. In 2018, she danced in the feature film The Chaperone choreographed by John Carrafa.  She joined the Paul Taylor Dance Company in Fall 2005.
Read TaylorNotes Interview HERE.

Photo: Bill Wadman

MICHAEL APUZZO grew up in North Haven, Connecticut. He studied Economics and Theater at Yale University, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2005. Growing up in musical theater, he began his formal dance training in high school, then danced and choreographed in undergraduate companies. After being dance captain for an original production of Miss Julie choreographed by Peter Pucci, Mr. Apuzzo debuted professionally at the Yale Repertory Theater. He has since performed in numerous musicals at equity theaters across the country and in the National Tour of Twyla Tharp’s Broadway show, Movin’ Out. He is a second-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, author of Flying Through Yellow, certified personal trainer, and co-producer of the new Hamptons charity event Dancers For Good. He joined Paul Taylor Dance Company in Fall 2008.

Photo: Bill Wadman

HEATHER McGINLEY grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. Through her early training with Lisbeth Brown, she attained a Diploma in the Cecchetti Method of Classical Ballet.  She graduated from Butler University with a B.F.A. in dance performance in 2005.  She was a member of Graham II for two seasons and went on to perform with the Martha Graham Dance Company from 2008 to 2011. With the Graham Company she toured Italy in the original cast of Antonio Calenda’s Looking for Picasso, a dance and theater piece featuring restaged classic Graham ballets. In 2018 she danced in the feature film The Chaperone choreographed by John Carrafa. She participated in the 2010 Intensives at The Taylor School, and joined Paul Taylor Dance Company in Spring 2011.

Christina Lynch Markham
Photo: Bill Wadman

CHRISTINA LYNCH MARKHAM grew up in Westbury, New York and began dancing with Lori Shaw, and continued at Holy Trinity High School under the direction of Catherine Murphy.  She attended Hofstra University on scholarship and performed works by Cathy McCann, Karla Wolfangle, Rachel List, Robin Becker, and Lance Westergard.  During college she also trained at The Taylor School, and attended the Company’s Summer Intensive Program.  After graduating Summa Cum Laude in 2004, she danced with the Amy Marshall Dance Company, Stacie Nelson and The Dance Theater Company.  She joined Taylor 2 in Summer 2008, and made her debut with the Paul Taylor Dance Company in Summer 2013.

Madelyn Ho
Photo: Bill Wadman

MADELYN HO, M.D. is from Sugar Land, Texas where she began dancing at Kinard Dance School and later trained with BalletForte under the artistic direction of Michael Banigan. She graduated from Harvard College with a B.A. in Chemical and Physical Biology. While there, she was awarded the Artist Development Fellowship and attended the Taylor School Winter Intensive. She was a member of Taylor 2 from 2008 to 2012 and left to attend Harvard Medical School, during which time she was a guest artist for Alison Cook Beatty Dance and performed with Urbanity Dance. She joined the Paul Taylor Dance Company in Spring 2015 and completed her Doctorate of Medicine in May 2018.

Kristin Draucker
Photo: Bill Wadman

KRISTIN DRAUCKER was born in Washington D.C and grew up in York, Pennsylvania. She began her training at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet under Marcia Dale Weary.  In 2005 she was awarded a Fellowship to study Horton and Graham at The Ailey School. Since moving to New York City she has danced with Michael Mao Dance, ArmitageGone!Dance, New Chamber Ballet, and at Bard’s Summerscape in Les Huguenots. In 2009 she joined the 50th Anniversary International Tour of West Side Story and in 2010 performed in Tino Sehgal’s KISS at The Guggenheim Museum.  Ms. Draucker began creating dances in 2014 and has shown her work in New York, Philadelphia and as part of the LaMAMA Umbria Festival in Spoleto, Italy. She joined the Paul Taylor Dance Company in Winter 2017.

Lee Duveneck
Photo: Bill Wadman

LEE DUVENECK grew up in Arlington, Texas, where he trained with Anne Oswalt and Gwen Price. In 2010, he earned his B.F.A. in Dance Performance from Southern Methodist University, where he studied with Taylor alumna Ruth Andrien and jazz dance icon Danny Buraczeski. While in New York, he has danced for Annmaria Mazzini, Mari Meade and Jessica Gaynor. Mr. Duveneck joined Taylor 2 in 2012, and joined the Paul Taylor Dance Company in Summer 2017.

Alex Clayton
Photo: Bill Wadman

ALEX CLAYTON grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, He received his B.F.A. in Dance with a Minor in Visual Arts from Stephens College in 2013. He was a Graham 2 company member from 2014 to 2015. He also performed with companies including 10 Hairy Legs, Abarukas Project, Curet Performance Project and Performa15. He served as Rehearsal Assistant for Paul Taylor American Modern Dance “Taylor Company Commissions” choreographer Lila York when she created Continuum in 2016. He joined the Paul Taylor Dance Company in Summer 2017.

Photo: Bill Wadman

DEVON LOUIS, who hails from Washington, DC, is a graduate of Duke Ellington School of the Arts. He attended the Ailey School as a recipient of the Oprah Winfrey Scholarship, and furthered his dance education at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival under the direction of Milton Myers. Mr. Louis has performed works by Alvin Ailey, Matthew Rushing, Christopher Huggins, Nathan Trice, Ronald K. Brown and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa. He has also performed as a member of Ballet Hispanico’s junior company, BHdos; The Metropolitan Opera; and Nimbus Dance Works. Mr. Louis joined the Paul Taylor Dance Company in Summer 2018.

Photo: Bill Wadman

JOHN HARNAGE, a native of Miami, Florida, studied dance at the Miami City Ballet School and New World School of the Arts. He was a Modern Dance Finalist in the 2010 National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts YoungArts competition. In 2014 he graduated from The Juilliard School, where he performed works by Jose Limón, Alexander Ekman, Pina Bausch, and Lar Lubovitch, among others. He then began working with Jessica Lang Dance, and joined the company in 2015, performing and teaching around the world. He also performed as a principal dancer in Washington National Opera’s 2017 production of Aida at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Mr. Harnage joined the Paul Taylor Dance Company in Fall 2018.

Maria Ambrose
Photo: Bill Wadman

MARIA AMBROSE grew up in Meredith, New Hampshire and began her dance training at age four under the direction of Sally Downs. She furthered her training with Edra Toth and performed with the Boston Dance Company. She attended George Mason University on an academic scholarship and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance Performance in 2011. While at Mason, she was awarded the Harriet Mattusch Special Recognition in Dance. She has performed with Elisa Monte Dance, The Classical Theatre of Harlem, LEVYdance, AThomasProject, and Earl Mosley’s Diversity of Dance. In 2018, she traveled to China as an ambassador for Parsons Dance to teach dance to young musicians, and then to Japan as part of the Dance International Program. She began studying at The Taylor School in 2012, and joined the Paul Taylor Dance Company in Spring 2019.

Photo: Bill Wadman

LISA BORRES, a native of Staten Island, New York, is a graduate of LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts.  At the Hartt School of the University of Hartford, from which she graduated in 2011, she studied with Stephen Pier and Katie Stevenson-Nollet and danced in works by Martha Graham and Pascal Rioult. She participated in Summer Intensives at the Joffrey Ballet School, Martha Graham Dance Company, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and Parsons Dance. Since 2012, Lisa has been part of the selection process for Ballet Tech, Eliot Feld’s tuition-free school that draws its students from the NYC public school system, whose diversity reflects the full American spectrum. She has performed with Amy Marshall Dance Company, Elisa Monte Dance, DAMAGEdance, Lydia Johnson Dance and LEVYdance. She joined the Paul Taylor Dance Company in Spring 2019.

Photo: Bill Wadman

JADA PEARMAN began dancing at the Motion School of Dance in Hamilton, Bermuda where she trained extensively in all styles of dance. In 2013, Jada attended The Grier School in Pennsylvania, as a pre-professional dancer under the direction of Jocelyn Hrzic. Whilst at The Grier School, she worked with choreographers such as Jon Lehrer, Melissa Rector, Kiki Lucas, Phil Orsano and many more. As a member of Grier Dance, she performed at the Palm Springs Choreography Festival, Steps on Broadway Choreography Festival and Koresh Artists Showcase. She attended summer intensives including Alvin Ailey, Point Park, University of North Carolina School of the Arts and Hubbard Street. She earned her BFA from the University of Arizona in Spring of 2019 where she performed works by Martha Graham, Larry Keigwin and others. She joined the Paul Taylor Dance Company in Summer 2019.

Photo: Bill Wadman
Photo: Bill Wadman

SHAWN LESNIAK, from New Haven, Connecticut, began dancing at the age of seven. For most of his youth, Shawn trained in various dance techniques such as ballet, jazz, modern and tap, and he danced competitively for more than a decade. He continued his training at The Ailey School and Point Park University. He has toured both internationally and domestically as a member of Parsons Dance, and has worked with choreographers such as Trey McIntyre, Matthew Neenan, Matthew Powell and Emery LeCrone. Mr. Lesniak joined the Paul Taylor Dance Company in Winter 2019.

Photo: Bill Wadman
Photo: Bill Wadman

ADAM DICKERSON, who was raised in Colorado Springs, Colorado, began his formal dance training after graduating high school with the Colorado Jazz Dance Company under the direction of Zetta Alderman and Holly Jones. He continued dancing at Colorado College and was mentored by Patrizia Herminjard and Debbie Mercer. During Adam’s college career he performed works by Anna Sokolow, Trisha Lai and attended three consecutive Summer Intensives at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance. In 2013, after graduating with a B.A. in Studio Art, he moved to New York City to dance with Graham 2, Amanda Selwyn Dance Theatre, Amy Marshall Dance Company, H.T. Chen & Dancers, Lisa Fagan Dance Problems and Fooju Dance Collaborative, and he performed as a guest artist with Dark Circles Contemporary Dance in Dallas, Texas. He joined the Paul Taylor Dance Company in Winter 2019.

Jake Deibert
Photo: Bill Wadman

JAKE VINCENT 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 and was invited by Mr. Novak to join the Paul Taylor Dance Company in the Spring of 2020.