Paul Taylor has been redefining American modern dance for more than 40 years. His groundbreaking pieces and experiments in form have inspired generations of artists and earned him national honors. Taylor discusses his love of dance, his craft and his company with PBS NewsHour correspondent Jeff Brown.
REHEARSAL CLIP: The Paul Taylor Dance Company dances a condensed and humorous performance of Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida. Watch a dress rehearsal as Paul Taylor critiques and advises his dancers.
Paul Taylor is the last living member of the pantheon that created America's indigenous art of modern dance. At an age when most artists' best work is behind them, Mr. Taylor continues to win acclaim for the vibrancy, relevance and power of his recent dances as well as his classics. As prolific as ever, he continues to offer cogent observations on life's complexities while tackling some of society's thorniest issues. He may propel his dancers through space for the sheer beauty of it, or use them to wordlessly illuminate war, spirituality, sexuality, morality and mortality. If, as Balanchine said, there are no mothers-in-law in ballet, there certainly are dysfunctional families, ex-lovers, fallen preachers, rapists, angels and insects in Taylor dance.
Choreographer Paul Taylor explains his dance company dynamic as a benevolent dictatorship that aims to keep morale among the dancers high. "A company's morale is more important than the choreography," says Taylor, arguing that strong teamwork among the company is highly visible to the audience.