The Hope College Great Performance Series will open its 2008-09 season with Taylor 2 Dance on Thursday and Friday, Sept. 4-5, at 7:30 p.m. in the Knickerbocker Theatre.
Legendary choreographer Paul Taylor established Taylor 2 in 1993 to ensure that his works could be seen by audiences all over the world. Taylor looked back to the 1954 origins of the Paul Taylor Dance Company for the structure of his new company: six professionals with a particular gift for his style who perform his work throughout the world.
"The New York Times" praised a recent performance by the group, saying "the performance would have been impressive enough... but the dancers' aplomb and artistry were even more remarkable."
The range of the dancers will be highlighted at Hope College when they perform different programs each night.
Taylor 2 tours extensively. In the spring of 1994, the United States Information Agency sponsored the company's first international tour, which sent the dancers to the African nations of Mozambique, Botswana, Mauritius, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Swaziland. In January 1997 the company celebrated India's 50 years of independence by touring in tandem with the Paul Taylor Dance Company. Taylor 2's widespread domestic touring has already taken the company to 46 states.
Taylor 2 has also done extensive residencies in Albany, Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, St. Louis and San Francisco, teaching and performing for thousands of students. While at Hope College the company will lead a master class with Hope College dance students.
Paul Taylor has received every important honor bestowed to artists by the United States and France. He was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Clinton in 1993. In 1992 he was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors, and received an Emmy Award for "Speaking in Tongues," produced by WNET/New York the previous year. In 1995 he received the Algur H. Meadows Award for Excellence in the Arts, and was named one of 50 prominent Americans honored in recognition of their outstanding achievement by the Library of Congress's Office of Scholarly Programs. He was elected to knighthood by the French government as Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1969 and has since been elevated to the ranks of Officier (1984) and Commandeur (1990). In January 2000 he was awarded France's highest honor, the Légion d'Honneur, for exceptional contributions to French culture.
Taylor is the recipient of three Guggenheim Fellowships, and his awards for lifetime achievement include a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship--often called the "genius award"--and the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award. Taylor's works have been licensed for performance by more than 75 companies worldwide. His autobiography, "Private Domain," was nominated by the National Book Critics Circle as the most distinguished biography of 1987. Taylor and his company are the subject of "Dancemaker," Matthew Diamond's award-winning, Oscar-nominated film, hailed by "Time Magazine" as "perhaps the best dance documentary ever."
Season tickets are now available. Subscriptions are $58 for adults, $47 for senior citizens, and $125 for a family (no matter how many children). The subscriptions are such a savings that they are equivalent to seeing two shows for free.
Tickets for the performance are on sale at the ticket office in the main lobby of the DeVos Fieldhouse, and cost $17 for adults, $12 for senior citizens, and $6 for children 18 and under. The ticket office is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be called at (616) 395-7890.
The DeVos Fieldhouse is located at 222 Fairbanks Ave., between Ninth and 11th streets. The Knickerbocker Theatre is located in downtown Holland at 86 E. Eighth St.