Taylor 2 Dance Company returns to the islands

By Colleen Armstrong

Weekly publisher

Taylor 2 Dance Company, a branch of the New York-based Paul Taylor Dance Company, is returning to the San Juans for an evening of joyous energy.

“We are performing four pieces of Mr. Taylor’s, and it’s some of his best work. Each one is whole unto itself and represents a different facet of his choreography,” said company member Lee Duveneck.

The show at Orcas Center is on Friday, March 31 at 6:30 p.m. A reception to meet with the dancers is planned following the performance. The dancers will hold a free class for advanced dancers from 5 to 6 p.m. that evening. Tickets are available at www.orcascenter.org.

The Lopez performance is Saturday, April 1 at 7:30 p.m. at the Lopez Center for Community and the Arts; tickets are at Blossom Organic Grocery, Paper Scissors on the Rock, Lopez Bookshop and www.lopezcenter.org. There will be a free dance workshop at the center the same day at 12:30 p.m.

Taylor 2 will perform on San Juan Island on Sunday, April 2 at 7:30 p.m. A free dance class will be held earlier at 2 p.m.; sign up at the box office. For tickets to the showup, go to http://sjctheatre.org/.

World-renowned dancer and choreographer Taylor started his 16-member troupe in 1954. He is credited with shaping the art of American modern dance. In 1993, Taylor established the six-member Taylor 2 to ensure that his works could be seen by audiences all over the world. Lopez Center, Orcas Center and San Juan Community Theater are three such venues that would otherwise be unable to see Taylor’s work.

For the San Juans’ tour, Duveneck is joined by Alana Allende, Rei Akazawa, Amanda Stevenson, Princeton McCurtain and Johnny Vorsteg. The professional dancers are chosen for their particular gift for his style. Taylor, who is 86, still choreographs two works per year.

“No two works of his are ever alike,” said Duveneck.

The program opens with “Junction” to music by J. S. Bach and is followed by “Duet From Roses” to a piece by Heinrich Baermann. In “The Uncommitted,” the dancers explore the fascinating and dramatic music of Estonian composer, Arvo Pärt. Taylor 2 will again be performing the very popular “Company B.” This suite of songs of the Andrews Sisters juxtaposes the high spirits of the 1940s with the sacrifices many made during World War II.

“‘Company B’ tends to leave people wanting to jitterbug out of the theater,” said Duveneck. “We are very excited to come. It’s such a beautiful place to visit and the serenity of it always inspires us.”