“He’s been dancing since before he could walk!” A saying that lots of proud parents brag about their children. Paul Taylor’s parents however, thought that their son wanted to be a visual artist and had know idea that one day his name would be synonymous with one type of American dance. Today, at 77, Paul Taylor may be the most sought-after choreographer working today, commissioned by leading companies, theaters and presenting organizations the world over. Taylor was born July 20th, 1930, in Edgewood Pennsylvania. After growing up in Depression-era America in and around Washington, D.C., Taylor studied painting at Syracuse University. His education was funded off of a swimming scholarship. It was at Syracuse he first became interested in dance. His first debut was in 1950 when partnered with a classmate in the school's modern dance club recital. To years later, he moved to New York to further his dance studies with scholarships at Juilliard School of Music Dance Department and Connecticut College School of Dance. Soon was studying with Martha Graham and Antony Tutor at the Martha Graham School and the Metropolitan Opera Ballet School.
While studying with Martha Graham, he performed in a number of pieces, including "Clytemnestra" (1958), "Alcestis" (1960) and "Phaedra" (1962). While still with the Martha Graham Dance Company, he danced for a number of other great contemporary choreographers, including Merce Cunningham (1953-1954), Doris Humphrey (1952), Charles Weidman (1954) and George Balanchine (1959).He worked in commercial theater and television. He was an extremely versatile performer. His tall, athletic physique created a striking presence on stage. It was, however, with his own dance company, which he founded in 1954, that Taylor made his greatest contribution to the art of dance.
In the mid-fifties, as New York was confidently asserting its position as the major cultural center for the arts, Taylor’s emerging talent was beginning to be...