OSWEGO — The legacy of pioneering choreographer Paul Taylor lives on in the Taylor 2 Dance Company, a troupe of six rising young dancers coming to SUNY Oswego’s Waterman Theatre stage at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7.
The troupe’s repertoire for the Artswego Performing Arts Series event will introduce audience members to the athleticism, humor and range of emotions found in the late dance maker’s work: “Party Mix,” to music by Alexei Haieff; “Dust,” with music by Francis Poulenc; and “Piazzola Caldera,” set to the music of Astor Piazzolla and Jerzy Peterburshsky.
The daringly experimental and popular Taylor, who inspired so many in American modern dance since the mid-20th century, died in August at 88. His lead troupe, the Paul Taylor Dance Company under the artistic direction of Michael Novak, carries on.
So does Taylor 2, which the choreographer formed with Linda Hodes in 1993, ensuring that audiences could share in his innovative performances unhindered by economic or technical limitations. Ruth Andrien, with Paul Taylor and his enterprises since her years as a dancer 1974-83, is rehearsal director.
Miranda Traudt, SUNY Oswego’s arts programming director, said that in keeping with the second company’s educational mission, “There are multiple opportunities to engage with the company.”
Taylor 2 dancers and Andrien will offer the general public a special opportunity: a free, behind-the-scenes look at how a dance company navigates a new space and prepares the stage for a performance. This “sneak peak” will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6, with an audience open dialog with the troupe.
Taylor 2 will offer two master classes on campus — one of them open to local dance classes and both open to SUNY Oswego students enrolled in classes of the college’s new minor in dance.
“The company prides itself on being a flexible, nimble one that will work in any space, any size,” Traudt said. That was crucial for Artswego: Bookings take place months in advance of performances, and it remained to be seen whether dressing room renovations, part of Phase II of Tyler Hall’s modernization, would be ready. They were completed recently, she said.
Taylor 2 features dancers Rei Akazawa, Amanda Stevenson, Johnny Vorsteg, Jake Deibert, Irving Amigon and Sloan Pearson. Principal lighting designer is Jennifer Tipton. Costumes are by Alex Katz for “Party Mix,” Gene Moore for “Dust” and by principal costume designer Santo Loquasto for “Piazzola Caldera.”
Tickets for Taylor 2’s performance are $20 ($18 for groups of 10 or more; $5 for all students, kindergarten through college) and are available at all SUNY Oswego box offices, online at tickets.oswego.edu or by calling 315-312-3073.
Parking is included in the price of a ticket and is available in the employee lot in front of Culkin Hall and the employee and commuter lots behind Hart and Funnelle residence halls. People with disabilities needing assistance to attend should call 315-312-3073 in advance of the performance.